'Open' Grid Solutions in Healthcare Continue to Make News

'Open' grid technologies coupled with cloud computing continue to make headlines in the news, especially in the fields of healthcare and bioinformatics. Much of it involves the use of 'open source' software tools such as the Globus Toolkit, Hadoop, Open Grid Engine, OpenStack, and more.

Some of the recent 'open source' grid computing solutions that have been making news in the world of healthcare include:


Archimedes Inc. is a healthcare modeling organization that takes publicly available clinical data and uses it to answer complex, vital healthcare questions for researchers, pharmaceutical companies and government agencies.

Archimedes recently developed and began using a new software tool called Aggregator that uses Hadoop, an open-source 'big data' solution that provides a framework allowing for the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using simple programming models. Archimedes also makes use of the Univa Grid Engine, a commercialized version of the open source distributed resource management solution originally developed by Sun Microsystems.

"Archimedes is showing the medical world how to use big data to solve real medical problems, both at an individual and national level by comparing a person's electronic health record with various risk factors," according to Gary Tyreman, Univa's CEO.

Grid computing provides the ability to perform higher throughput computing by taking advantage of many computers around the world connected to the Internet to form the equivalent of a virtual 'super computer'. Grid computing utilizes the unused capacity of millions of separate personal computers connected by data networks to solve large-scale computational problems.

Globus Online

Globus Project co-founder Ian Foster and the Globus team recently launched a new effort that Globus Online, a reliable, high-performance file transfer service for use by researches to easily and securely move 'big data' between resources, such as supercomputing facilities, cloud storage systems, campus clusters, lab servers, or personal computers.

Globus Online increases usability and functionality dramatically relative to past grid software. The SaaS model makes it easy to deliver new features and rapidly refine the service’s capabilities based on early user feedback. You can learn more about Globus Online by attending the Globus World Conference in 2013.

Other major 'Open' Bioinformatics & Health Grid projects and organizations in the news worth checking out include:

Grid Projects

• Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) - http://cabig.nci.nih.gov
• BIRN Cardiovascular Research Grid - http://www.birncommunity.org/current-users/cvrg/
[email protected] - http://fightaidsathome.scripps.edu
[email protected] - http://folding.stanford.edu
• Health Grid Projects - http://www.healthgrid.org/projects/index.php
• Sealife Project - http://www.biotec.tu-dresden.de/sealife
• Virolab Grid - http://www.virolab.org/about-virolab.html

Grid Organizations

• Globus Alliance - www.globus.org
• HealthGrid -  www.healthgrid.org
• Open Grid Forum (OGF) – http://www.gridforum.org
• Open Science Grid (OSG) Consortium - https://www.opensciencegrid.org/bin/view
• World Community Grid - www.worldcommunitygrid.org

A selection of some of the more recent articles or blog posts about Grid Projects in the bioinformatics or healthcare space that have been posted on Open Health News include:

Grid Computing & 'Open' Health Grids
The Charity Engine and key 'open' grid computing resources
Grid Engine Continues to Thrive As Open Source and Commercial Software
Cognitive Medical Systems launches Socratic Grid open source initiative
Eli Lilly’s Science Grid Goes Open Source

Count on 'open' grid technologies coupled with cloud computing to be making headlines in the news for many years to come, especially in the fields of healthcare and bioinformatics.