Published in January 2021
Atos’ vision in Life Sciences is to bridge the gap between basic and applied research by implementing new technological solutions
Medicine development and production involve many different processes such as research & development (R&D), preclinical and clinical trials, regulatory compliance, as well as a solid supply chain. For example, Atos partners with Eupry to offer a Compliance Monitoring service for Covid-19 vaccine delivery. Advances in genomics research and in other areas of life sciences powered and enabled by technology takes the entire value chain to the next level allowing the implementation of the different facets of precision medicine. In this new medical paradigm, every patient is unique, and all actions are focused on delivering wellness, in the attempt to preserve human life by extending generic immunization for the masses to one which is personalized for the individual.
This is the final case study of our trilogy where the first case study focused on enabling clients to deliver digitally-enabled precision healthcare with non-contact patient triage and monitoring and the second included the integration of environmental metrics with personal health metrics for precision healthcare. This third case study discusses how Atos enables innovations in life science companies and institutions to deliver precision medicine.
Virtual human and precision medicine
The Virtual Human project is a European Commission funded initiative with an ambitious vision: to create ‘Virtual Humans’ in a way that will become routinely available in hospital settings. By being able to simulate, at every scale, how a person breathes and moves and how each part of their body functions, the project’s mission is help clinicians to predict the likelihood of injuries or disease and design treatment regimes, that are personalized precisely for individual patients. Using a patient’s own individual avatar, clinicians and researchers can test the effects of different drugs in order to select the most effective medication; and clinicians and device manufacturers can visualize how best to deliver a drug exactly where it is most needed.
An example is the simulation of a patient’s circulatory system where the movement of red blood cells produces insights into important processes such as those that prevent blood loss after an injury. In another instance, as cardiovascular disease accounts for half of the sudden deaths in Europe, in the future, virtual hearts beating inside supercomputers will reveal the detailed workings of individual patients to better understand the disease and to test the effects of different drugs, procedures and pacemakers.
Advanced computing boosting life sciences
High Performance Computing (HPC), Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing are the three key technologies enclosed under the umbrella of Advanced Computing that are paving the way to precision medicine by addressing the major challenges that life sciences companies are facing.
HPC enables the testing of different processes in silico which provides the acceleration and simulation capabilities needed to reduce the time from ideation to the delivery of a minimal viable product. Atos has a strong trajectory, providing HPC systems and services to more than 40 health, research and pharma/biotech organizations worldwide. For over a decade, it has been partnering with the Spanish National Centre for Genomics Analysis, one of the first centers in Europe for sequencing capabilities. Atos currently powers Europe’s fastest supercomputing system with 44.1 petaflops at the Forschungszentrum Jülich (JUWELS) in Germany. Based on BullSequana XH2000, it is ready for exascale and is the most energy-efficient system in the TOP100. It is also ranked #7 on the TOP500 and #5 on the High-Performance Conjugate Gradient (HPCG) benchmark. In addition, Atos also leads in India and South America in the HPC field.
Quantum is an exciting new compute paradigm that enables testing hypotheses that are currently unimaginable. However, the vast potential of applications of quantum remain unexplored as the technology itself is still under development. Atos offers the world’s most powerful quantum simulator and through its Quantum Learning Machine program, life scientists have the opportunity to prepare to embrace quantum without incurring the massive investment usually associated with continuously upgrading a developing platform.
Advancing its leadership in this field, Atos recently introduced the Q-score, a new quantum metrics reference, to measure the efficiency of a quantum system in handling real-life problems. It is objective, simple, fair and the only universal score to assess quantum performance and superiority.
Atos is an established integrator and supplier in advanced computing. It has worked closely with research centers such as the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and is involved in the European project PerMedCoE. Its platforms and advanced computing capabilities such as data sampling, sequencing and analysis are complemented by its life sciences offerings in electronic health records (EHR) and advanced analytics, which enables clients to deliver innovations in precision medicine.
In 2020 Atos launched the HPC, AI and Quantum Life Sciences Centre of Excellence as an instrument to bring advanced technologies closer to life sciences projects with the goal of discovering novel and innovative solutions. The center has a global aim and is based in Cambridge at the Wellcome Genome Campus, home to some of the world’s foremost institutes and organizations in genomics and computational biology.
Security and decarbonization
Atos co-founded the Charter of Trust with Airbus, Cisco, Dell, IBM and Siemens, among other members and is ranked #3 worldwide by Gartner, and top in Europe, in managed security services. The “Security by default” philosophy is a new measure added to the charter policy this year to have security features enabled and configured in next generation products. This approach is especially relevant for precision medicine which incurs operations on EHRs. Atos is also a co-founder of GAIA-X, the European project to develop common requirements for data sovereignty and secure dataspaces.
Atos has over 30 energy-efficient systems in the Green500 rankings and in its commitment to achieve net-zero in greenhouse gases emission it extends its expertise to its clients. This focus is especially important to tackle the carbon emission related to the massive use of computing power needed for innovation. Besides offering energy-efficient HPCs, EcoAct, a newly acquired company, specializes in assisting clients to assess their entire IT landscape, including their supply chain for carbon impacts and improvement opportunities.
Atos has the end-to-end capabilities, from advanced computing to strategic partnerships and co-founding initiatives in the information space. These digital capabilities enable synergies and foster partnerships within the ecosystem of the healthcare and life science industry, enabling clients to focus and progress continuously in the delivery of precision medicine. Its global HPC, AI & Quantum Life Sciences Center of Excellence is established for this very purpose, allowing scientists and researchers to harness the power of secure and advanced computing and focus on delivering innovation in life sciences that will crystallize in the delivery of precision medicine.
This case study was developed by members of the Atos Scientific Community, Expert Community and other experts in the Healthcare & Life Sciences industry:
Carrie Chow (Editor in Chief), Andrew Hutton, Blanca Jordan, Franck Coisnon, Harbir Sawhney, Dr. Heather Haugen, Lydia Montandon, Mary Sirois and Dr. Natalia Jimenez.
The Atos Expert Community is our driving force for technical collaboration, ideation, innovative research and development. Our experts help to steer our business strategy; building our technology roadmap by anticipating the products and services that will be needed by the market.
The Atos Scientific Community crafts the Group’s vision for the future of technology in business, and anticipates the upcoming trends and technologies that will shape businesses and society in the years ahead. Its global network comprises more than 160 of the top scientists, engineers and forward thinkers from across the Group. Together they represent a rich mix of skills, experience and backgrounds.