Fusion Genomics Partners with IBM to Tackle Global Health Pandemics

A partnership between a computing giant and a Vancouver health company may lead to fewer pandemics around the globe.

IBM and Fusion Genomics are working together to help advance the ability to detect outbreaks before they happen. Fusion develops DNA and RNA technology it believes can positively identify infectious diseases and improve the monitoring of emerging pathogens like MERS, SARS, and avian flu. IBM’s cloud capabilities help Fusion work smarter and more efficiently.

If Fusion Genomics’ technology is deployed for preemergence surveillance, it believes it can identify threats by taking aerosol samples in high-risk areas and analyze those samples to see if there is a real risk to people who are nearby. If there happens to be any risk, Fusion Genomics can help governments make informed and quick decisions to contain any kind of problem.

Cloud computing allows Fusion Genomics to process four core elements in unison, and IBM’s solution is perfectly suited to the needs of the four-year-old Vancouver health company.

First comes testing, as a sample genome is captured and has its DNA sequenced. Next, Fusion Genomics will use machine learning algorithms to analyze genomic data and see if any pathogen is present. Once identified, physicians using Fusion Genomics’ technology while tracking transmission dynamics can provide appropriate treatment. Finally, because all the information is delivered via IBM’s cloud solution, the right kind of instructions can be disseminated to whoever will need it, whether that’s government officials or other physicians.

“With a quickly growing global population, potential outbreaks of infectious diseases pose an increasingly pressing threat to our public health”, said Mohammad Qadir, CEO of Fusion Genomics. “We chose IBM over other cloud providers because of its ability to quickly scale up or down while ensuring that sensitive data is protected with one of the most secure clouds available. This accelerates our capacity to react to infectious diseases that can pose dangerous threats to both the economy and human life.”

There are several organizations around the world that are working with Fusion Genomics to access the DNA and RNA technology system that is built on the IBM Cloud.

“Together with Fusion Genomics, IBM continues its commitment to drive innovation in Canada that is making a real difference in key industries,” said Allen Lalonde, a senior innovation executive IBM Canada.

IBM has been busy in Canada, as they recently opened an innovation incubator in Ottawa. The computing giant also submitted a proposal to the British Columbian government to regulate their process of legalizing marijuana with blockchain technology.