Harvard project compares medical files with genetics

A new project designed at Harvard takes computers, using artificial intelligence, to scan the private medical files of 2.5 million people at local hospitals, as part of a NIH-funded effort to find the genetic roots of diseases.

The story is reported today in the The Boston Globe by reporter Gareth Cook, so check it out.

The Globe story says that the $20 million project would probe more deeply and more quickly into medical records than human researchers are capable of, and is designed to find links between patients’ DNA and illnesses.

"Although the effort could raise concerns about privacy, researchers say the new program, called ”I2B2" (for Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside) would respect the strict guidelines set out in federal and state laws, and could be a powerful tool for many kinds of research," Cook reports in the Globe.

The NIH grant selected Boston for this effort and plans to make this new software available for free to US hospitals.

You can find a lengthy story with alot more interesting detail at The Boston Globe

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