It’s well known by now that cloud computing and all it has to offer provide businesses and organizations with an expansive set of tools. There are numerous ways to harness this technology to ensure the workplace, whatever industry it may be in, can benefit from the cloud. A new set of scientists working on the study of COVID-19 variants is finding a way to benefit from the technology as well.
Oxford University is well into deep research on the COVID-19 variants that continue to pop up around the world. Since the onset of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, variants have provided increased difficulty in the management of COVID-19 and its impact on the world. By studying variants, scientists can identify what new strains are doing to stay alive and how we as humans can keep from letting the variants spread.
To combat this new horizon in the fight against COVID-19, Oxford is partnering with Oracle, a well-established cloud computing provider, to speed up variant identification. Oxford is using a platform designed by disease specialists to watch for genetic sequence changes in COVID and identify particular aspects that may prove to be extremely dangerous. In these strains, identifying them ahead of major spread can be the difference between life and death for some patients. Therefore, time is of the essence in a crucial way.
As variants emerge, the ability for the world to fight COVID-19 grows slower and more stagnant. Oxford’s Scalable Pathogen Pipeline Platform (SP3) and the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) are working together to speed up the process to help ensure we tackle this pandemic as quickly as possible. Numerous agencies in the U.K. have invested in the partnership as Europe and all of the world continues to watch for these dangerous variants.
How Cloud Computing Can Help Fight COVID-19
At first glance, the connection between cloud computing and the medical sciences might seem limited. All in all, the software and programs used in this industry are unlike most others. That said, the cloud is capable of applying numerous utilities to the study of medicine and in this case the fight of a global pandemic. The numerous capabilities of the cloud infrastructure provide increased uses of in-place tools for scientists as well as the room to build new, improved technologies.
One example is the machine learning capabilities of cloud computing. In identifying new variables in regards to a genetic variation in the COVID-19 strain, scientists run the variants through numerous programs. WIth some of the programs running faster thanks to an expansive cloud environment, scientists are able to get through more samples at a fast rate. Likewise, the scientists are able to teach new programs within the cloud to read for variations and learn how to spot differences. This takes the onus off of scientists, at least in most cases, and allows them to focus on the problematic strains identified during processing.
This, along with dashboards that display analytics that connect all treatment effectiveness and identification programs help to organize the COVID-19 variant labs more efficiently. The work being done at the Oxford labs is staggering; Oxford processes half of the world’s COVID-19 sequences totaling over half a million strains. Thanks to cloud computing, those capabilities will continue to increase as well.
The focus of these partnerships with cloud computing providers and other industries around the world is to make the most of important work taking place. When it comes to COVID-19, no person on Earth went unaffected by the impact of this virus. Important partnerships like this ensure we’re better set up for the future when the next disaster strikes the world.