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Mike Olson, Cloudera Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Participates in White House Event, Announces Cloudera’s Support of Initiative to Individualize Healthcare Using Data


Washington, D.C. – February 25, 2016: Precision medicine promises to revolutionize healthcare: To improve diagnosis, to target treatment, and to deliver better care. Living up to that promise requires collaboration and analysis of large amounts of complex data from many sources, privately and securely. Cloudera, the global provider of the fastest, easiest, and most secure data management and analytics platform built on Apache Hadoop and the latest open source technologies, today announced it will support President Barack Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) by providing training and software, and will collaborate with academic and government research institutions doing non-commercial work on the use of data and analytics for healthcare. Cloudera’s support was unveiled today at the Precision Medicine Initiative Summit, held at the White House.


Until now, most medical treatments have been designed for the “average patient.” As a result of this “one-size-fits-all” approach, treatments can be very successful for some patients, but not for others. Precision medicine will enable healthcare providers to tailor treatments and prevention strategies to individuals’ unique characteristics, including their genome sequence, microbiome composition, health history, lifestyle, and diet.


Advances in precision medicine have already led to powerful new discoveries and treatments tailored to specific characteristics, such as a person’s genetic makeup, or the genetic profile of an individual’s tumor. This has transformed the way diseases are treated, particularly cancer. Patients with breast, lung, and colorectal cancers, as well as melanomas and leukemias, routinely undergo molecular testing as part of patient care, enabling physicians to select treatments that improve chances of survival and reduce exposure to adverse effects.  Also, precision medicine has touched discovery of rare diseases, identification of unusual genetic variants, detection of epigenomic and methylation biomarkers, and predictions of how each patient might respond to new and existing drugs.


In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama announced the PMI to enable a new era of research, technology, and policies that empower patients, participants, researchers, and providers to work together toward the development of individualized treatments. White House Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil furthered the Administration’s support of this initiative, outlining healthcare as its top open data priority and PMI as the cornerstone of this priority at the Strata + Hadoop World event in New York in 2015. The president also included $215 million for this initiative in his proposed 2016 budget and again mentioned it as a priority in his 2016 State of the Union address.


Enabling a new generation of precision medicine researchers, making open access to new multi-omic and environmental data available for the first time, will be the key to making precision medicine the new best practice in medicine. When data from genomic research, population health databases, sensors and wearables, and electronic health records is combined securely with public and third-party information, it enables a precision medicine approach. The result is better overall patient outcomes and new ways for providers, payers, pharmaceutical companies, and device manufacturers to engage with patients. Furthermore, all organizations in the value chain, including healthcare data companies, can rely on the easiest route to the most comprehensive HIPAA compliance.


Cloudera has long been convinced that big data and analytics are powerful tools for understanding disease, improving outcomes, containing cost, and delivering better care where it is needed most. With some of the largest healthcare providers in the U.S., Cloudera is already creating new systems for delivering care. At a national children’s hospital, streaming data from the bedside lets nurses provide better care to neonatal patients. Health systems are creating predictive models for everything from the onset of sepsis, to congestive heart failure readmissions, to where to put crash carts and rapid response teams inside the hospital to save lives—before patients ever have a cardiac arrest. There are also a number of research hospitals embracing genomics as the key ingredient in precision medicine.


For PMI, Cloudera will deliver its on-demand training to 1,000 precision medicine researchers over the next three years in the latest big data technologies and data science techniques. Cloudera will also provide subscriptions, at no cost, for Cloudera's platform for storage, processing, and analysis of big data to 50 institutions working in the field. As a proponent of open source, Cloudera will work with government, industry, and academia to make it easier to share data among precision medicine collaborators. Because security is such an important consideration, cybersecurity and data protection will be fundamental to this work.


Having been one of the early conveners in the big data space, Cloudera will host meetings at its Strata + Hadoop World conference on open source and open data standards for health care to encourage collaboration among industry, academia, and government. In addition, Patil will be discussing this and other open data initiatives at the 5th Annual Cloudera Government Forum, taking place on March 15 in Washington, D.C.


“I’m personally so excited about PMI because I think it is one of the most obvious ways in which big data can make life better for real people,” said Mike Olson, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Cloudera. “Understanding disease onset and progress can give us new clues on how to fight it. Catching the tidal wave of data coming from genomics and proteomics, and studying whole organisms instead of just anatomy, creates whole new approaches to prevention and treatment.”




About Cloudera

Cloudera delivers the modern data management and analytics platform built on Apache Hadoop and the latest open source technologies. The world’s leading organizations trust Cloudera to help solve their most challenging business problems with Cloudera Enterprise, the fastest, easiest and most secure data platform available for the modern world. Our customers efficiently capture, store, process and analyze vast amounts of data, empowering them to use advanced analytics to drive business decisions quickly, flexibly and at lower cost than has been possible before. To ensure our customers are successful, we offer comprehensive support, training and professional services. Learn more at



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Press Contact


North America

Karina Babcock

+1 (650) 644-3900




Press Contact

Karina Babcock


+1 (650) 644-3900


Press Contact 


Sarah Nadif

Ketchum for Cloudera

+44 (0) 20 7611 3788

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