The field of genomics is growing exponentially, transforming the healthcare, agriculture, and life sciences industries, as well as being one of our sharpest weapons in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Since the introduction of next-generation sequencing (NGS) in 2005, the industry has experienced a data explosion and created new industries built around the human genome, from resolving family histories to clinical care.
Today, commercially available NGS platforms can sequence hundreds of whole genomes in one to two days, and some labs are sequencing 10,000 exomes per week. As instrument throughputs have exploded, the cost of sequencing has dropped and sample prep and data analytics have become a proportionally larger share of the cost.
Sequencing the human genome—either in whole or in selected parts—is critical to our understanding of how it works, which allows us to identify the genetic variants that can cause disease, provide protection, and be targeted for therapeutics. As organizations utilize the genome to understand disease, discover drugs, and enhance patient care, data analysis and management are becoming the main tools for extracting the genome’s value.