DxTerity: Using data-driven precision medicine to combat autoimmune disease

About DxTerity

DxTerity is a patient-centric genomics company bringing the power of real-world genomics with novel from-home RNA monitoring to improve the management of autoimmune disease.

Industries: Healthcare
Location: United States

About Pluto7

Pluto7 is a Google Cloud Specialization Premier Partner in data analytics with ML expertise, providing technology solutions focused on machine learning and artificial intelligence for healthcare, manufacturing, and retail industries.

Google Cloud and Pluto7 are helping DxTerity solve for building a clinical-genomics platform that accelerates diagnostic and therapeutic development.

Google Cloud results

  • Harmonized diverse EHR, CDISC, and genomic data in near real time
  • Accelerated genomic sequencing pipeline 100-fold
  • Increased data ingestion/processing capacity
  • Met terabyte size scalability requirements for simultaneous direct-to-patient data ingestion
  • Secured health and genomic data in compliance with HIPAA and GDPR requirements

Scalable EHR/CDISC/GENOMIC harmonization in real-time

The National Institutes of Health estimates that 23.5 million Americans have an autoimmune disease, making it one of the most prevalent medical conditions in the United States. With more than 100 different autoimmune diseases manifesting differently for each person, health management is extremely complicated. Genomics research has shown promise in a range of healthcare areas and DxTerity is pairing their novel genomics technology with clinical trial and medical records data to help develop affordable disease-management tools in the autoimmune disease space.

“Our patient-driven direct research combined with rich clinical data is providing breakthrough insights to complex immune response through the engagement of thousands of research subjects in longitudinal research. The ability of population-scale data analysis of autoimmune diseases promises new precision methods to help patients and physicians manage disease more confidently.”

Bob Terbrueggen, founder and CEO, DxTerity

“Autoimmune disorders are a broad category of conditions where the body's own immune system attacks healthy cells, causing a range of symptoms and complications. Some of the more common disorders include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus,” says Vivian Neilley, a Solutions Engineer for Google Cloud Healthcare & Life Sciences. “Genomics utilizes advanced genetic sequencing and computational biology methods to characterize how the human body reacts to different environmental factors such as disease, which is why genomic research is a critical tool in understanding autoimmune diseases and developing potential treatments.”

DxTerity launched with a philosophy of being entirely patient-centric problem solvers, using advanced analytics and other technologies to reduce testing costs and enhance knowledge of immune system behaviors. While the company has worked with several top-10 global pharmaceutical companies on a range of autoimmune conditions, it specializes in lupus and multiple sclerosis.

“We are passionate about bringing precision medicine to autoimmune disease, which is an underserved market requiring accessible and affordable solutions,” says Bob Terbrueggen, founder and CEO of DxTerity. “Our patient-driven direct research combined with rich clinical data is providing breakthrough insights to complex immune response through the engagement of thousands of research subjects in longitudinal research. The ability of population-scale data analysis of autoimmune diseases promises new precision methods to help patients and physicians manage disease more confidently.”

DxTerity partnered with Google Cloud and Pluto7 to address its technology challenges, ultimately building a FHIR-based CDSIC and EHR record ingestion and harmonization process combined with a complex genomic data stream that accelerated data processing 100-fold.

Healthcare data challenge

“Genomics analysis requires terabyte-scale data ingestion, and we’re pairing that with thousands of research subjects’ longitudinal clinical trial and medical data to discover and develop new diagnostic tools,” says Bob. “But before we can apply our genomics technology, the real-world data collected from clinical trials and EHRs needs to be cleaned, verified, and normalized. This is a huge challenge for the healthcare industry today.”

The various steps of data ingestion, processing, analysis, and visualization were dispersed and disjointed, which translated into a lot of wasted time and issues when it came to normalizing data. So, DxTerity looked to harmonize data inputs and remote capture, bringing them into one system that would improve the scalability and efficiency of data management and analytics. By unifying ingestion, harmonization, and processing elements into Google Cloud, they were able to adopt a unified data model to support more robust analytics.

DxTerity, with the help of Pluto7, developed a seamless and integrated data ingestion pipeline in a matter of months.

“Combining clinical, genomic, and research data is a challenge many healthcare organizations face today,” says Joe Corkery, M.D., Director of Product Management, Google Cloud Healthcare & Life Sciences. “Leveraging Google Cloud's healthcare-specific solutions, such as our Healthcare Analytics Platform, organizations are able to quickly enable the next generation of scalable analytics and AI applications. With this technology, DxTerity and Pluto7 were able to further their vision of improving outcomes for patients with immune-mediated disease."

Unifying clinical data processing pipelines

The DxTerity eClinical Genomics Platform runs on App Engine, BigQuery, and the Cloud Healthcare API. Google Cloud healthcare-specific solutions allow DxTerity to automate ingestion of multiple data formats into a standardized FHIR-based data model at terabyte scale. By facilitating rapid indexing and data harmonization of multiple streams of disparate data sources, including CDISC-compliant clinical research data, EHR data from multiple sources, genomics data, and ad-hoc datasets (such as EHRs, CRFs, CSVs, and genomics), data latency in its analytics pipeline improved nearly sixfold.

Cloud Healthcare API also enables utilization of cohort and ML tools for portable research and operational analytics. Cloud Storage acts as the data lake, while Dataflow normalizes and loads the information into BigQuery for staging and analysis.

Considering the widespread lack of interoperability among medical records, this provides the company with an advantage in its ability to efficiently and accurately curate clinical and genomic data for more affordable monitoring of autoimmune disorders.

“Cloud Healthcare API is the backbone of our analytics engine,” says Jim Healy, co-founder and SVP of Business Development of DxTerity. “It allows us to move multiple data formats quickly and easily into BigQuery for analysis, visualization, and use in third-party applications, all while meeting rigorous clinical data management standards. Ultimately, we believe machine learning and artificial intelligence will continue to provide even more robust opportunities to improve healthcare research and patient outcomes.”

Speed and scale of sequencing

In addition to creating a real-time data harmonization process, genomics workflows now run through a centralized, high-throughput computing cluster courtesy of Compute Engine. This data is then fed through the Cloud Healthcare API and Pub/Sub to allow for data exploration through machine learning. The overall Healthcare Analytics Platform provides further harmonization support to truly connect and integrate data.

“The sequencing pipeline has improved by about 100-fold compared to our old system, and that’s just the start as we can also scale much faster,” says Jim. “Now we can now work toward population-scale remote clinical trial work, which would have been previously impossible.”

“The analytics process with Google Cloud was truncated from months to a matter of hours. This is a game changer, enabling our researchers to focus their gray matter on outcomes analysis rather than data curation and ushers in using the considerable AI/ML resources available on Google Cloud to scalable real time execution,” says Bob. “If we can improve the speed to generating clinical insights, our vision of genomics in everyday care can be realized, and our competitiveness introducing new diagnostic products is greatly expanded.”

Securing health data

Security of patient data collected is paramount to any patient-driven initiative. Being highly secure is critical to maintaining the trust of participants and maintaining a relationship with patients through time. DxTerity chose the Cloud Healthcare API and its inherent security tools such as access controls, permissions, and auditability, to ensure and simplify implementation of confidentiality measures across data streams.

“These capabilities allow us to scale complex data processing in a common security framework while meeting the demanding requirements of GDPR and HIPAA compliance,” says Jim.

“DxTerity gave us an opportunity to prove our caliber and capabilities early in the data transformation efforts. The platform we developed as a team improves the lives of people living with autoimmune diseases and illustrates the promising future of Google Cloud for healthcare solutions.”

Manjunath Devadas, CEO, Pluto7

Providing actionable autoimmune disease insights

DxTerity knew in general what it wanted to accomplish and understood some of the best methodologies to do so but needed outside expertise to assist in optimizing its backend systems. Google Cloud Specialization Partner Pluto7 stepped in from the outset and helped DxTerity navigate the complex technologies and develop the ideal architecture.

“DxTerity gave us an opportunity to prove our caliber and capabilities early in the data transformation efforts,” says Manjunath Devadas, CEO of Pluto7. “The platform we developed as a team improves the lives of people living with autoimmune diseases and illustrates the promising future of Google Cloud’s healthcare solutions.”

“Pluto7 was a great partner in developing our platform concept and enabling us to harness the power of the Cloud Healthcare API, ultimately, allowing DxTerity to achieve its vision of delivering new precision medicine tools to market faster than ever.”

Jim Healy, co-founder and SVP Business Development, DxTerity

Jim adds, “Pluto7 was a great partner in developing our platform concept and enabling us to harness the power of the Cloud Healthcare API, ultimately allowing DxTerity to achieve its vision of delivering new precision medicine tools to market faster than ever.”

About DxTerity

DxTerity is a patient-centric genomics company bringing the power of real-world genomics with novel from-home RNA monitoring to improve the management of autoimmune disease.

Industries: Healthcare
Location: United States

About Pluto7

Pluto7 is a Google Cloud Specialization Premier Partner in data analytics with ML expertise, providing technology solutions focused on machine learning and artificial intelligence for healthcare, manufacturing, and retail industries.