The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute has unveiled a new effort to understand how type 2 diabetes varies from patient to patient. With access to data on more than 800,000 diabetics in the Hoosier State, researchers see it as a big step toward the development of new treatments and improved diagnostic tools.
"One of the areas of focus for the IBRI is the convergence between life science research, informatics and technology," said IBRI President and CEO David Broecker in a statement – noting that every life science organization is working to understand how to connect biology to technology to drive both new discoveries and interventions, particularly in complex diseases like diabetes.
As Broecker sees it, the IBRI is uniquely positioned to bring together leading companies such as Lilly and Roche with academic collaborators like Regenstrief and Indiana University to explore problems from multiple perspectives and data sources; he calls the initiative, "the essence of big data."
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and is associated with other health complications including cardiovascular and peripheral vascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, blindness and amputation.
The collaborators will analyze the available data in an effort to better understand each of the variations in type 2 diabetes patients and group those patients into subpopulations that share causes or complications from the disease. That ultimately would facilitate the development of more specialized treatments and interventions for the subpopulations.
The data to be analyzed will come from the Regenstrief Institute's Indiana Network of Patient Care database. The data set is drawn from across the state of Indiana, and provides a representative sample of type 2 diabetics that can be used to understand the variations of the disease in individuals across the nation.
The project is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2017.