IBM in deal with Coriell Life Sciences to offer SoftLayer cloud storage for personalized medicine

Enterprise IT vendor IBM will offer cloud storage service based on SoftLayer to support the delivery of personalized medicine in a deal with Coriell Life Sciences, a provider of genetic analysis at point of care, and CareKinesis, a Medication Risk Mitigation pharmacy services firm.

Coriell Life Sciences has teamed up with IBM and CareKinesis to introduce an initiative with Program for All Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) clients to support seniors in order to enhance medication safety.

Working with genetic data presents massive challenges for both data storage and privacy protection. A whole human genome produces more than three billion points of data for a single individual.


IBM has supported Coriell Life Sciences to build a cloud-based solution that stores data in Coriell Life Sciences’ GeneVault. This data is then interpreted and shared with physicians through CareKinesis who layer additional medication management decision factors into a holistic tool for doctors within PACE organizations.

Under the strict privacy controls of the interconnected CareKinesis and Coriell Life Sciences systems, physicians, healthcare providers and medical experts can access a patient’s genomic interpretation via any web connected device.

For example, a cardiologist may consider prescribing a popular blood-thinning drug for an elderly man, but may be concerned about the potential for an adverse reaction. The PACE Team decides to conduct a test to assess if the participant will respond to the medication being considered, said IBM.

The test is run by swabbing the inside of the patient’s cheek to collect a tiny amount of genetic material, which goes to Coriell Life Sciences for testing. Results are analyzed and interpreted for their impact on drug response, said IBM.

IBM said that the resulting report is then transmitted to the doctor giving guidance on whether the patient can safely use the drug. CareKinesis supports the process by making pharmacotherapy recommendations based on these results. The data can be used at any time it is needed in the future for pharmacotherapy prescribing decisions.

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