Genomics

Velsera and Flywheel to Support Multimodal Imaging Genomics Research

Combining Velsera CAVATICA Platform with Flywheel Enterprise capabilities accelerates collaborative, secure cloud-based research and data analysis

Velsera, a global healthcare technology company that offers leading biomedical data analysis platforms, has joined forces with Flywheel, the leading medical imaging management and artificial intelligence (AI) development platform, and the Center for Data-Driven Discovery in Biomedicine (D3b) based at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, to advance the analysis of large-scale genomics and medical imaging datasets. In this collaborative pilot effort through the NIH-wide INCLUDE (INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE) Project, the partners combined their expertise to unite the Velsera CAVATICA platform and the Flywheel Core Platform, providing unprecedented capabilities to scale multimodal data analysis with clear pathways to advance precision medicine programs across government and pharmaceutical sectors.

While extensive amounts of genomic and imaging data are being amassed in the healthcare system today, researchers struggle to combine this data in ways that could help make the discovery of new treatments faster and more precise. Limitations include access obstacles, privacy concerns, and integration and computational requirements for such large datasets.

Combining their capabilities, Velsera, Flywheel, and D3b were able to manage, harmonize, and analyze large datasets in a cloud-based platform.

  • The Velsera team created interoperability standards that allow platforms to communicate with each other and make large-scale data access transparent to the user. These interoperability standards make 14 PB of data accessible from the Velsera platform ecosystem.
  • The Flywheel platform uses containerized algorithms to de-identify images, run QC workflows, and consistently curate data to facilitate large-scale sharing and analysis of imaging data sets.
  • The D3b team provided vision of AI and imaging data, subject matter expertise in health data and bioinformatics analysis pipelines, and, within the NIH-funded INCLUDE Data Coordinating Center and Office of Data Science Strategy, FHIR proficiency critical for data harmonization.

“Linking our Flywheel Core Platform with Velsera’s CAVATICA platform facilitates an unparalleled ability to perform advanced, multimodal data analysis in a cloud environment,” said Travis Richardson, Chief Strategist at Flywheel. “This collaboration is another way we are empowering researchers to focus on making discoveries by facilitating fast, secure collaboration independent of location.”

This new technology is just the start of transforming patient care across all conditions through imaging data analysis and discovery. An initial test pilot focused on the integration of pediatric brain MRI imaging. Using data from D3b, teams were able to analyze the combination of extracted imaging features on the Flywheel Core Platform. They identified genomics variants on the CAVATICA platform, and demonstrated capacity for the combination of data to provide enhanced prediction of clinical outcomes; a proof point that showed how this pivotal platform integration serves as a foundation for combining multimodal data together which can lead to faster cures for patients of all ages with any disease, and better medical options for individuals with Down syndrome.

Bringing together two platforms, each with their own strengths, gives researchers an enhanced environment to make discoveries more rapidly. For example, researchers can deidentify and examine an MRI and its metadata in Flywheel, then extend that analysis to genomic and clinical data in CAVATICA, offering a holistic view of the patient. Through collaboration and innovation, we are stronger together as we support researchers to find cures faster than ever possible before.

“We are excited that producing machine learning models with genomics and imaging data within one ecosystem yielded concrete findings and could be a path to novel, multi-omic biomarkers for future clinical research,” said Velsera’s Jack DiGiovanna, Ph.D. “It demonstrates that our shared pursuit with Flywheel to enhance multimodal data analysis can help advance science and medical care.”

Added Adam C. Resnick, Ph.D., director of D3b: “This initiative was meaningful in that it went beyond proving that data interoperability and research collaboration across platforms is beneficial. We will be able to target and accelerate our efforts to support a multidisciplinary research and care community’s capacity to help people with Down syndrome. It’s an important step forward in leveraging these new technologies.”

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