On the left, a diagram of GIS-type data overlayed on one another: Raster imagery at the bottom, with postal codes, structures, census tracts, land use, and transportation forming six layers. On the left, a diagram of the Information Commons: individual patients on the bottom, with other types of patient data, the microbiome, the epigenome, the genome, signs and symptoms, and the exposome forming the higher layers

FIGURE 1-2An Information Commons might use a GIS-type structure

The proposed, individual-centric Information Commons (right panel) is somewhat analogous to a layered GIS (left panel). In both cases, the bottom layer defines the organization of all the overlays. However, in a GIS, any vertical line through the layers connects related snippets of information since all the layers are organized by geographical position. In contrast, data in each of the higher layers of the Information Commons will overlay on the patient layer in complex ways (e.g., patients with similar microbiomes and symptoms may have very different genome sequences).

SOURCE: FPA 2011 (left panel).

From: 1, Introduction

Cover of Toward Precision Medicine
Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease.
National Research Council (US) Committee on A Framework for Developing a New Taxonomy of Disease.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011.
Copyright © 2011, National Academy of Sciences.

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