DNA compositions to be stored for health
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Hürriyet photoThe genomic data and DNA composition, which is unique to every person, will soon be stored in a central database in the U.S. in order to develop the right drugs for all people, the technological advisor to President Barack Obama, Stephen Brobst, told the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview on Nov. 20.
“Of course, such data can be used for bad purposes as well, so it has to be protected with very strict laws,” Brobst said.
Brobst, the Chief Technology Officer of Teradata, the world’s largest company focused on analytic data solutions, advises Obama on which technology investments should be made, and was visiting Turkey for a conference.
Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, Brobst said the single biggest long-term issue facing Barack Obama was developing health care in the U.S.
“In the immediate term there are some financial issues, etc … But these are not the long-term issues, the long-term issue is the healthcare. His aim is to make sure everybody has full coverage in healthcare, and that we increase the quality and reduce the cost,” Brobst said.
Brobst said the U.S. president had given his advisory team different areas in which he wanted to improve ordinary life for U.S. citizens. “These include health care, education, transportation, energy, and homeland security,” he said.
According to their recommendations, Brobst said all the healthcare data should be put in electronic form and be collected in large computers in order to create intelligence from the healthcare data.
Stephen Brobst says all the healthcare data
should be put in electronic form and be
collected in large computers in order to
create intelligence from the healthcare
“Now we need to make good use of the data, which involves advanced technology. This involves every citizen of the United States. Anybody who goes to a doctor, the data regarding what procedures they have been through, the inpatient stage, outpatient stage, the drugs they have to taken, the allergies they have, their X-Ray images, even their family trees, will be put into electronic form,” Brobst said.
In the future the genomic data and DNA composition will be stored in large computers in order to develop the right drugs for each and every person.
“I can develop better drug treatments if I know your DNA composition. Having the DNA of a person is like having fingerprint of the person,” Brobst said.
Procedures to this end have already started for some cases, he said, adding: “In the U.S you can have your genomic data taken for 5,000 dollars. If someone is diagnosed with cancer, for example, the genomic data of this person would help a lot to develop the right treatment for this person.”
Brobst stressed, however, that such information was very sensitive, and that it should be used with great care. “There are very strict laws in the U.S. for the protection of healthcare data. Only people with very good reasons to have it can have access to this data,” he said.