A Global Alliance for Genomic Data Sharing


In June, a group of 70 hospitals, research institutes, and technology companies from 40 countries formed the Global Alliance (pdf), a consortium to promote open standards and best practices for organizations producing, using, or sharing genomic and clinical data.

Created in response to the flood of genomic data generated by increasingly affordable gene sequencing technologies, the Global Alliance aims to foster an environment of widespread data sharing that is unencumbered by competing, proprietary standards, the likes of which have plagued electronic health records in the United States and elsewhere. For example, although analysis of individuals’ genomes already sees widespread application in the treatment of cancer, inherited disease, and infectious disease, it’s not always possible for researchers to achieve the sample sizes necessary to study rare conditions. This is due in part to the fact that hospitals cannot aggregate data stored in different hospital systems using unstandardized analytical tools and methods. By creating a standardized framework for sharing and using genomic data, the Global Alliance will enhance the opportunities for broader study of a range of diseases while also improving information sharing globally. [Read More]