Hybrid HPC is Speeding Time to Insight and Revolutionizing Medicine

By Bill Mannel, VP & GM, HPC Segment Solutions and Apollo Servers, Data Center Infrastructure Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

May 4, 2018

High performance computing (HPC) is a key driver of success in many verticals today, and health and life science industries are extensively leveraging these capabilities. HPC solutions enable organizations—from hospitals and clinics to pharmaceutical companies and research institutions—to accelerate digital transformation. More specifically, these game-changing capabilities are integral to enhance the quality of patient care, reduce the cost of operations, and improve outcomes. HPC-driven advancements are leading to breakthroughs in critical areas such as drug discovery and personalized and predictive medicine.

To spearhead this effort, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is delivering a new breed of HPC for life sciences. By combining the security and reliability of on-premises technology with the unbounded agility and scalability of the public and private cloud, life sciences organizations can deploy a right-sized infrastructure to extend HPC capabilities, increase ease of use, and accelerate time to insight. HPE pioneered the Hybrid HPC model in 2017, and in collaboration with a powerful partner ecosystem, the life sciences sector is currently undergoing a major paradigm shift.

A flagship development of this transformation is the Living Heart Project, a revolutionary project which applies the power of realistic simulation to human modeling. Today, Stanford University, Simulia, Advania DC, UberCloud, Intel®, and HPE are utilizing hybrid cloud technologies to fuel new experiments for the Living Heart Project. Based on 200 cloud experiments and 80 case studies, these leaders are working to empower organizations with superior security, usability, and performance.

Accelerating life sciences research

The Living Heart Project is a shared mission to develop and validate highly accurate, personalized digital models of the human heart. These models will serve as a common technology base for education and training, medical device design, testing, and clinical diagnosis, and regulatory science—all to improve patient care.

Recently, Simulia, UberCloud, and HPE migrated the Living Heart Project to the Advania Cloud to study drug-induced arrhythmias. Cardiac arrhythmia is a dangerous and potentially lethal side effect of certain drugs. When an arrhythmia occurs, electrical activity in the heart becomes chaotic, preventing the normal pumping function and therefore diminishing blood circulation throughout the body. A serious arrhythmia can cause death within mere minutes. 300,000 sudden cardiac deaths are reported each year, many of which are related to drugs; in fact, many drugs (not just cardiac drugs) can have serious side effects on the heart.

Cultivating safer medications is critical to the health and safety of millions of patients; however, the average cost to develop a new drug is $2.5 billion and the time to market for a new drug is more than 10 years. Furthermore, only 12% of all drugs that reach the clinical trial stage will ever be approved. Based on these staggering statistics, HPE and partners embarked on a cloud experiment and case study regarding the development and calibration of a cardiac simulator to study drug toxicity. This HPE-sponsored project is hosted by an UberCloud software container in the Advania Cloud—and backed by Abaqus 2017 software, the model is now able research new drug compounds quickly and cost-effectively. Using these solutions, the team worked to create a bi-ventricular finite element model to study drug-induced arrhythmias, predict risk, and ultimately prevent harmful side effects. The one-of-a-kind tool would not only increase the number of successful drags that reach the market, but it would also decrease the time and cost of development in order to save lives.

Source: Cloud28+, 2017

Configuring roughly 7 million elements, 25 million interval variables, and 1 million time steps, this comprehensive digital model is the result of a powerful hybrid environment. These groundbreaking achievements earned Stanford University, Simulia, Advania DC, UberCloud, Intel®, and HPE the HPCwire Editor’s Choice Award for “Best Use of HPC in the Cloud.”

Innovating for the future

Hybrid HPC is the new reality for the life sciences sector. HPE is uniquely positioned to help organizations transform their operations with industry-leading solutions, expertise, and funding models to drive hybrid innovation. HPE hosts over 3,000 private cloud clients and over 600 fully-managed cloud clients, providing unmatched on-premises and off-premises infrastructure to empower growth and success.

Organizations can easily start their hybrid HPC journeys by contacting HPE to sign up for the Hybrid HPC service. Pointnext services offered by HPE are in place to help organizations create user accounts for cloud service automation as well as to select the right HPC software solutions. Additionally, HPE GreenLake Flexible Capacity, a pay-per-use solution, enables consumption-based technology usage to handle the most demanding business-critical workloads without breaking the bank. Leveraging these key services, organizations can rapidly scale to accommodate complex workloads, easily control on-premises and off-premises processes, and simplify IT operations while achieving the highest quality experience.

To learn about how hybrid cloud solutions are driving progress in a variety of fields, I invite you to follow me on Twitter at @Bill_Mannel. And for more information on HPC innovations that are changing the scope of life sciences operations, be sure to visit @HPE_HPC.


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