A couple of months ago, I discovered that SAS Institute offers free software for an initiative where data are shared to accelerate cancer research. As a SAS employee, this information made me very proud. I work for a company that makes software available for an initiative, in which we all have a huge and often very personal interest.
The Project DataSphere initiative provides an easy-to-use platform built to share, integrate and analyze historical cancer trial data to accelerate research. SAS® software is the analytical foundation behind the data analysis enabling researchers to discover insights that previously would have been hidden in the data. The initiative involves many stakeholders who have come together simply because they think it is the right thing to do.
Data Analysis Revealed Unprecedented Patterns
Where the Project Data Sphere platform is available to US researchers affiliated with life science companies, hospitals and other institutions to share and analyze cancer research data collected across the industry, the Danish healthcare sector already has this unique opportunity due to the Danish National Patient Registry where data are gathered and shared for analysis.
Danish researchers just revealed a study that also shows us how data analysis can help us understand diseases. They analyzed data from six million people covering more than 15 years of interaction with the healthcare sector. They were looking for early warnings on serious illnesses, and they revealed previously unprecedented patterns and hidden insights. For example, they uncovered associations of psoriasis or sclerosis as indicators of developing COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
Both projects can make a difference in the research of serious diseases, and it shows that data contain so much hidden information. We need to analyze the massive pool of clinical data to reveal the unprecedented patterns that can help researchers beat cancer and find a cure for other serious diseases.
We are on the right track and thinking the right thoughts. I hope everyone take notice of these initiatives and ask themselves if they could use analytics to reveal unprecedented patterns, beat cancer and save more lives.