Broad Institute and Verily partner with Microsoft to accelerate the next generation of the Terra platform for health and life science research

Washington:On Monday, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Verily, an Alphabet company, and Microsoft Corp. announced a strategic partnership to accelerate new innovations in biomedicine through the Terra platform. Terra, originally developed by Verily and the Broad Institute, is a secure, scalable, open-source platform for biomedical researchers to access data, run analysis tools and collaborate. Terra is actively used by thousands of researchers every month to analyze data from millions of participants in important scientific research projects.

Biomedical data are being generated and digitized at a historic rate and are expected to reach dozens of exabytes by 2025 — including data from genomics, medical imaging, biometric signals and electronic health records. Coupled with powerful research and analysis tools, these datasets can provide lifesaving insights into some of the world’s most pressing health issues. But making use of these important datasets remains difficult for researchers who face huge, siloed data estates, disparate tools, fragmented systems and data standards, and varying governance and security policies.

The new partnership aims to break through those barriers by bringing together Microsoft’s cloud, data and AI technologies, and global network of more than 168,000 health and life sciences partners to accelerate development of global biomedical research through the Terra platform, provide greater access and empower the open-source community. Building on the open-source foundation of Terra, the new collaboration will advance the ability of data scientists, biomedical researchers and clinicians around the world to collaborate in tackling some of the most complex and widespread diseases facing society today.

The Broad-Verily-Microsoft partnership brings together leading genomics and computer science researchers, data scientists and technology experts to jointly deliver on the vision of the Terra platform. Through the collaboration with Microsoft, the companies will accelerate Terra’s vision for health and life sciences research by:

Expanding on Terra’s open, modular and interoperable research platform, with the addition of the Microsoft Azure cloud, data and AI technologies, and global capabilities
Increasing Terra’s accessibility to the more than 168,000 health and life sciences organizations partnering with Microsoft around the world
Enabling secure and authenticated access to distributed data stores via collaborative workspaces
Allowing access to a rapidly growing portfolio of open and proprietary standards-based tools, best practices workflows and APIs
Enabling federated data analysis to uncover insights and build novel analytical and predictive models while ensuring patient privacy
Creating a seamless and secure flow to speed the delivery of data and insights between research and clinical domains
Using open APIs and modular components to advance the standards-based biomedical data ecosystem in line with the open, compatible and secure approach to data developed by the Data Biosphere and the responsible policies and technical standards established by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health

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