The Li Ka Shing Foundation has provided a $3 million planning grant to the Stanford University School of Medicine for a new initiative to explore ways of harnessing the vast repositories of biomedical data to improve human health and lower health-care costs.

This latest gift will further a collaborative effort between Stanford and the University of Oxford in England.

“Big data” is considered the next revolution in biomedical science, speeding up discovery of new drugs and offering patients better, more-personalized treatments while helping to reduce costs.

“In the world of medicine, we have a tsunami of data crashing over us, including electronic patient records, DNA sequencing, biological data on disease mechanisms, clinical trials, medical imaging and pharmaceutical records. We can put all these large data sets to work to identify innovative approaches to treatment and to improving access to care,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “We are extremely grateful to Mr. Li Ka-shing for helping to bring us closer to this goal.”

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