The National Institutes of Health launches its STRIDES initiative

By Catherine Sturman
The emergence of traditional and non-traditional players entering the healthcare industry, the need to adopt new technologies to deliver patient-centere...

The emergence of traditional and non-traditional players entering the healthcare industry, the need to adopt new technologies to deliver patient-centered care is becoming increasingly vital.

The National Institutes of Health now launched its Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability (STRIDES) Initiative to unlock the advantages of commercial cloud commuting, in order to support researchers and over 2,500 academic institutions in utilising essential digital tools within biomedical advances.

Bringing Google Cloud on board as its first industry partner, the use of cloud technologies will seek to reduce barriers across the biomedical ecosystem, where the duo will establish a robust framework for NIH researchers, whilst harnessing Google Cloud storage, computing, and machine learning tools.

In line its Data Science Strategic Plan , STRIDES will provide essential training for researchers to learn about the latest digital tools. The initiative will also include partnerships with the NIH’s Data Commons Pilot which was launched last year, which is exploring how to share and utilise biomedical data in the cloud and best practices. It awarded 12 research organisations $9mn to run with the pilot.

“The volume of data generated in biomedical research labs across the world is growing exponentially,” said Gregory Moore, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President, Healthcare, Google Cloud.

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“Through our partnership with NIH, we are bringing the power of data and the cloud to the biomedical research community globally. Together, we are making it easier for scientists and physicians to access and garner insights from NIH-funded data sets with appropriate privacy protections, which will ultimately accelerate biomedical research progress toward finding treatments and cures for the most devastating diseases of our time.”

All data will be fully endorsed by the biomedical research community, where it will ensure all data will be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR).

“NIH’s initial efforts will focus on making NIH high-value data sets more accessible through the cloud, leveraging partnerships to take advantage of data-related innovations such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, and experimenting with new ways to optimise technology-intensive research,” the company has stated.

“By launching STRIDES, we clearly show our strong commitment to putting the most advanced cloud computing tools in the hands of scientists,” commented Andrea T. Norris, NIH Chief Information Officer and director of NIH’s Center for Information Technology.

“Beyond our partnership with Google Cloud, we will seek to add more industry partners to assure that NIH continues to be well poised to support the future of biomedical research.”

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