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New Giro Health Open Initiative Seeks Answers to Neurodegenerative Diseases

CHICAGO (GenomeWeb) – The Martinos Center for Biological Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology is partnering with RowAnalytics, Envision Genomics, and IBM to launch an open initiative to streamline integration of clinical genomics, medical imaging, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence in pursuit of precision medicine.

The program, called Giro Health and introduced today, seeks to improve diagnosis and treatment of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases by combining several promising technologies. As it is an open initiative, the partners are inviting medical specialists and clinical researchers to collaborate as they look for answers to conditions including dementia, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, tuberous sclerosis, and other similar disorders.

The Martinos Center will contribute its expertise in brain scanning to study neurodegenerative diseases, while Envision Genomics offers whole-genome sequencing technology. RowAnalytics, a British startup that recently opened a US office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has built a platform called PrecisionLIFE to support large population studies in precision medicine.

These partners will build Giro Health on IBM Power Systems servers to handle the expected large volume of data and heavy computing requirements.  

RowAnalytics CEO Steve Gardner said in a statement that the integration of the partners' technologies and analytical capabilities will enable Giro Health to accelerate and scale the application of precision medicine in neurological and neurodegenerative disorders.

"We are excited to be integrating state-of-the-art biomedical imaging, genomics, analytics, and artificial intelligence technologies in the pursuit of better therapeutic options for patients with complex, multi-factorial neurological diseases," Bill Shaw, executive director of the Martinos Center, added.

"The complexity of this challenge requires a multidisciplinary team with complementary technologies and an unwavering focus on the patient and their needs," said Grace Terrell, CEO of Huntsville, Alabama-based Envision Genomics. "The partners bring together world-class genomic data analysis and clinical interpretation, high-performance computing and storage, digital health tools and experience of redesigning patient-focused healthcare models."