Today Google has made clear their intent on joining the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, a worldwide organization dedicated to standards, policies, and technology for the greater good of human health. Google’s role in this group will be to contribute toward refining technology and evolving the health research ecosystem for the whole planet.
Google will also be submitting open-source projects based on a web-based API to “import, process, store, and search genomic data at scale.” In doing so, Google is submitting a proposal for this “simple web-based API” alongside a full preview implementation. This implementation will be utilizing the API built on Google’s cloud infrastructure, and will include sample data from public datasets galore.
The Google Genomics API will focus on the following from the start:
• Focus on science, not servers and file formats
– Use simple web APIs to access data wherever it lives
– Let us manage the servers and disks
• Store genomic data securely
– Private data remains private, public data is available to the community anywhere
– Storage space expands to fit your research needs
• Process as much data as you need, all at once
– Import data for entire cohorts in parallel
– Search and slice data from many samples in a single query
At the moment, potential users are being granted access to the Genomics API through a access request process. This process is done through Google itself, but may one day be hosted by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health.
Google suggests that they are at the beginning of a big change in the global health and healthcare environment, and asks that other Global Alliance for Genomics and Health members contact them to “share your ideas about how to bring data science and life science together.”