Indiana University Employs Cloud Computing, AI for Precision Medicine

– Indiana University (IU) is using cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) to advance its precision medicine initiatives.

IU is employing these technologies to target certain cancers, such as multiple myeloma, triple-negative breast cancer, and pediatric sarcomas, and chronic diseases, such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s, explained Peter Embi, MD, president and CEO of Regenstrief Institute, which is a medical research organization affiliated with IU and Purdue University.

IU decided to partner with LifeOmic, which provides a secure cloud service for the long-term storage, retrieval, analysis, and clinical use of medical research data. IU has a 1.5 percent ownership stake in LifeOmic, which was founded by Don Brown, an IU alumnus.

“We knew we needed a commercial partner that was going to work with us for the purposes of building out some of the new technologies that we didn’t have to be able to do this work. LifeOmic as a partner organization to the university and the institute was a logical choice,” Embi told

“We are using LifeOmic’s cloud-based infrastructure, analytics capabilities, and computational infrastructure that they manage to be able to house key data elements that are specific to our disease teams. We work with LifeOmic to inform the features and capabilities that we need,” he said.

“When we load the data under consent, we can leverage their capabilities so that our researchers and care providers can access the data and analytics for the purposes of making precision health decisions as well as research decisions,” he said.

In addition, IU and other universities, through their Indiana Clinical Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), are working with LifeOmic to provide the LIFE Extend app to enable Indiana residents to live a healthy lifestyle. CTSI is a research partnership among IU, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame.

The LIFE Extend app includes the option for users to participate in the All IN for Health program, which links Indiana residents with opportunities to improve their health and participate in research and clinical studies. Indiana CTSI and LifeOmic have set a goal of engaging more than 100,000 residents in the All IN for Health program. 

“All IN for Health is an effort to get the state’s residents more engaged with the universities that are part of Indiana CTSI, which connects these major universities and health systems for the purpose of advancing medical research. By doing that, we want to develop a healthier state,” explained Embi.

The LIFE Extend app is the first precision medicine app designed to improve health with evidence-based health measures, such as physical activity, nutrition, mindfulness and sleep, according to LifeOmic.

Using the app, Indiana residents will be able to access a personalized health timeline that allows them to track their progress and habits as well as communicate with family, friends, and groups they select as they work toward their goals.

App users will be able to increase their understanding of health and health-related issues through the LIFE Apps Learning Library, which provides access to science-based content on topics such as metabolism, nutrition, and aging.

In addition, All IN for Health produces articles for residents from Indiana researchers and offers access to participation in research and clinical studies happening across the state.

“We saw an opportunity to affiliate on that project so that app users can sign up for the All IN for Health program,” Embi related.

“We have been trying to switch from the notion of people participating in research as subjects to people as active participants. I see apps like LIFE Extend with the All IN for Health component as ways to allow us to connect with people in a way that we haven’t been able to before,” Embi concluded.

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