Today, Hewlett-Packard announced the company is pledging $25 million to support the expansion of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and pediatric research over the next 10 years. Approximately $21 million of the investment will go towards the hospital's plans to nearly double in size. The remaining funds will be used to sustain interdisciplinary research collaborations between scientists at HP Labs and the hospital.
In an article published today in the San Jose Mercury News, Atul Butte, PhD, discusses the importance of computer analysis to improve treatment protocols and safety procedures and the hospital's relationship with HP Labs:
"The whole world is moving toward data-driven science," said Dr. Atul Butte, director of the hospital's Center for Pediatric Bioinformatics, which uses cutting-edge computing to detect hidden patterns and glean other useful information from the vast amounts of medical data now available from gene-sequencing, clinical testing and lab reports.
As an example, Butte said sophisticated number-crunching has led to new blood tests that a doctor can use to predict how a child with cancer will react to powerful chemotherapy drugs, so the doctor can calculate the safest formula and dosage for that patient.
HP scientists have worked with the children's hospital on a variety of projects over the past five years, said Sharad Singhal, a distinguished technologist at HP Labs in Palo Alto. He said the current effort will draw on processes used in other industries, such as aviation safety and air traffic control, to better manage the river of information hospitals routinely gather on each patient's condition, and to glean more useful signals from that data.
Previously: Lucile Packard Children's Hospital about to turn 20
Image of proposed hospital expansion from Transparent House