How Big Data Drives Drug Development

Have ever wondered how come you have paracetamol for your fever? Or dextromethorphan drugs for if you have a bad cough? These medical drugs did not just come out of the laboratory like a fresh apple from a tree. It goes through series of tests even before you see them at the nearest local drugstore. These tests are not just made of one sheet of test results. It is composed of massive data that trigger the innovation of drugs sector.



Big data serve as the foundation of drug development


As you read this, researchers and data scientists are somewhere gathering and proving test results that might lead to a treatment of once incurable illness. It is safe for you to say that big data are the sole reason behind drug development’s existence, unlike other industries. “Our product is data” emphasized VP of Dublin-based clinical research organization Andrew Thompson. Why do you think he said such claim?


Here’s why: any medical drugs undergo four phases before the market enjoys it. The three initial phases can take roughly around four to seven years to be accomplished. So, imagine the massive data collection that happens during that period. This gives you a broader understanding how big data become the main driver of formulating latest medical drugs. Meanwhile, the last phase of the production focuses on discovering possible ways to innovate the existing drugs. For instance, researchers and data scientists might look for other diseases that it may address or increase the doses to examine the effects of a person’s health stability. And say hello again to another huge amount of data for sake of leveling up the game for the drugs sector.



Integrating all pharmaceutical research and development data


Constructing a common ground for all data available opens to infinite possibilities of innovating the drug development. You may think of it as if building a new google platform where you can easily find and share your research specifically in the pharmaceutical field. Integrating all the big data gathered in this field is one of the problems that data scientists face even in the 21st century.


But modern time still a thousand times better compared to the last century. Precision Medicine Initiative Program (PMIP) serves as one of the pioneers in big data integration. It is still ongoing but it will become the largest cohort ever existed. You will find data of 1,000 people that matched with specific types of tumors and medicines that address their condition. This will enable you to easily find your patients’ genetic construction and match the appropriate drugs for their illness. Moreover, it opens other researchers to see the development in the area and contribute to improving the existing cases.



Employing IT-based support


Doctors, researchers or data scientists are not the only professions that contribute to the greater good. You basically do not need to know by heart the parts of small intestine such jejunum or duodenum to cure people. Sometimes you just need to become an amazing programmer. Who would have thought that IT developers could save lives?


One occasion where tech job practitioners can advance is with the PMIP. The project will use the usual practice of recording data. However, the researchers will also advance with mobile applications. This will enable the users to easily input information and access data from genome sequencing down to health records. Another instance is the use of the cloud to manage the study effectively. Developers will be needed to build tools that will aid big data users in maximizing and innovating the existing information in their respective studies.

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