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Clin Transl Med. 2017 Dec;6(1):23. doi: 10.1186/s40169-017-0155-4. Epub 2017 Jul 25.

Systems and precision medicine approaches to diabetes heterogeneity: a Big Data perspective.

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Center for Computational Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA.


Big Data, and in particular Electronic Health Records, provide the medical community with a great opportunity to analyze multiple pathological conditions at an unprecedented depth for many complex diseases, including diabetes. How can we infer on diabetes from large heterogeneous datasets? A possible solution is provided by invoking next-generation computational methods and data analytics tools within systems medicine approaches. By deciphering the multi-faceted complexity of biological systems, the potential of emerging diagnostic tools and therapeutic functions can be ultimately revealed. In diabetes, a multidimensional approach to data analysis is needed to better understand the disease conditions, trajectories and the associated comorbidities. Elucidation of multidimensionality comes from the analysis of factors such as disease phenotypes, marker types, and biological motifs while seeking to make use of multiple levels of information including genetics, omics, clinical data, and environmental and lifestyle factors. Examining the synergy between multiple dimensions represents a challenge. In such regard, the role of Big Data fuels the rise of Precision Medicine by allowing an increasing number of descriptions to be captured from individuals. Thus, data curations and analyses should be designed to deliver highly accurate predicted risk profiles and treatment recommendations. It is important to establish linkages between systems and precision medicine in order to translate their principles into clinical practice. Equivalently, to realize their full potential, the involved multiple dimensions must be able to process information ensuring inter-exchange, reducing ambiguities and redundancies, and ultimately improving health care solutions by introducing clinical decision support systems focused on reclassified phenotypes (or digital biomarkers) and community-driven patient stratifications.


Diabetes; Electronic health records; Systems and precision medicine

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