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Personalized medicine Biohealth Tech Hub awarded $49M

The Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub will use $49 million in federal funding to drive innovation, manufacturing and workforce development in the realm of precision medicine.

The Biden-Harris administration is set to award $49 million to the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub -- a consortium working to advance the development of a precision medicine-based biotechnology ecosystem in the region.

The funding, provided by the Biden-Harris administration through the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration, will support five new projects aimed at creating a comprehensive data ecosystem to spur technology development while prioritizing responsible patient data use; deploying mobile fleets to provide healthcare referrals and cancer screenings in communities experiencing health disparities; utilizing AI and advanced data approaches to streamline clinical integration of emerging technologies; developing inclusive talent pipelines to support biotechnology innovation; and aligning coordination efforts Hub-wide to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing.

The Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub aims to position the state as a global leader in precision medicine as part of Phase 1 of the national Tech Hubs Program. The initiative has established 31 Designated Tech Hubs across the country to advance U.S leadership in key industries and technologies, such as quantum information technology and biomanufacturing.

The $49 million is set to be finalized in the coming months as part of a larger Phase 2 funding round.

Consortium leaders from the University of Wisconsin--Madison estimate that the five Phase 2 projects will directly create nearly 30,000 jobs and indirectly contribute to an additional 111,000 jobs.

One of these projects will support the development of the Wisconsin Health Data Hub, a data ecosystem designed to provide researchers with expansive health information for use in treatment discovery and efficacy studies.

"Using the Wisconsin Health Data Hub, researchers will be able to mine an incredible source of information to identify new biomarkers, pinpoint previously unknown risk factors for different diseases and inform prototyping for emerging treatments," said Jomol Mathew, Ph.D., principal investigator for the project and associate dean for informatics and information technology at the school, in the press release. "By tapping into the power of real-world health data and advanced analytics that the Wisconsin Health Data Hub will offer, researchers will be limited only by their ingenuity in terms of the questions they can ask to advance health."

The Health Data Hub will also be used to bolster two additional Phase 2 projects: the CareScan Mobile Cancer Screening initiative and an effort led by GE HealthCare to streamline technology integration within health systems to advance theranostics -- a precision medicine approach that combines diagnostics and therapy to treat advanced cancers.

"Data flow between each of these three projects will set an unprecedented charter for accelerating discovery and translation of discoveries to care that benefit patients," noted Anjon Audhya, Ph.D., senior associate dean for basic research, biotechnology and graduate studies at the School of Medicine and Public Health.

Shania Kennedy has been covering news related to health IT and analytics since 2022.

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