iDNA utilizes HPC-services to detect lung cancer early

iDNA utilizes HPC services to detect lung cancer early

One of the initial clients of the renewed High-Performance Computing environment offered by Bytesnet in Groningen is iDNA (Institute for DiagNostic Accuracy). This institute is conducting groundbreaking work on lung cancer screening.

Their research involves the use of artificial intelligence, requiring significant computational power and secure data storage. “Our work relies on data. Bytesnet is a crucial partner for us,” says Managing Director Dr. Erik Jippes.

iDNA is a private research institute based in Groningen, founded in 2018. The institute’s affiliated doctors and researchers bring together decades of knowledge and experience in radiology, CT technology (Computed Tomography), and oncology. They work under the scientific leadership of Professor Matthijs Oudkerk, the Chief Scientific Officer of iDNA, who is globally renowned as a pioneer in the radiological aspects of lung cancer screening.

"Our work relies on data. Bytesnet is a crucial partner for us,"
Managing Director dr. Erik Jippes

Early Detection of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is often diagnosed too late, making a cure impossible. Nine out of ten patients die within five years. However, with screening and early diagnosis, treatment becomes more promising, and only one out of ten patients dies within the same time frame. Erik Jippes explains, “Our mission is to investigate, implement, and accelerate lung cancer screening: early detection of lung cancer through medical imaging. By performing an annual CT scan and comparing it, we can identify lung cancer early in the high-risk group (based on factors such as age and a history of smoking).”

iDNA is a pioneer in this field and collaborates with governments, hospitals, universities, and (pharmaceutical) companies, not only in conducting research but also in advising and setting up screening programs.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

iDNA has been in conversation with Bytesnet since the start of the HPC project in the brand-new Datacenter in Groningen, known as the Data Competence Center d’ROOT, and has been a client of Bytesnet since the end of 2020. Erik states, “It is a crucial partner for us. We heavily rely on data for our research: CT data, risk profile development, and participant selection. A significant portion of our research involves using artificial intelligence and algorithms. To run these on the data, we make use of Bytesnet’s services. It’s important for us to have High-Performance Computing resources at our disposal.”

The data management solutions are also set up and running in Bytesnet’s data center, making them accessible in the cloud for hospitals. “All in all, quite a bit of computing power is required. You need a significant number of GPUs, CPUs, and RAM to run the algorithms.”

"All in all, quite a bit of computing power is required. You need a significant number of GPUs, CPUs, and RAM to run the algorithms."
Managing Director dr. Erik Jippes

100% Dutch

Another reason for iDNA to choose Bytesnet is that it’s a 100% Dutch company, and the data is securely stored in the Netherlands. “This gives us more control over our data. It’s tangible – we know where the server racks and hard disks are, and we are aware of the security measures in place. Our partners also find this an important aspect, especially in our sector, as we deal with medical data.”

iDNA is one of the first HPC clients of Bytesnet, which began offering High-Performance Computing in d’ROOT in late 2019. “They responded quickly and could provide the custom solution we were looking for. Configuration plays a critical role in achieving good performance.”

“We are now further setting up HPC, and Bytesnet collaborates excellently with our technical team in this regard. When we set up validation for AI algorithms for a new developer, such a partner often has specific installation requirements. Bytesnet helps with the assessment of the best way to achieve this and we work together to find a suitable solution.”

Growing Together

Erik foresees significant growth for iDNA in the coming years. “What we do is very innovative, and developments are fast-paced, especially in the application of CT technology. Many tech companies in the healthcare sector involved in artificial intelligence focus on CT because these scans provide good 3D information and quantifiable data. Screening involves large volumes and standardized protocols, so computational power and data storage are essential.”

Bytesnet’s capacity and services can scale with their growth. “We are also based in Groningen. In addition to d’ROOT, Kadans is developing a new multi-tenant building where iDNA may relocate. We are currently exploring the possibility of moving there. There is a direct data cable between the buildings, ensuring a direct connection. We want to expand our collaboration with Bytesnet in the future.”

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