Cognizant has signed a two-year agreement with Genomics England, a company owned by the UK Department of Health, to help design and implement the IT operating environment for the 100,000 Genomes Project.

The project aims to sequence 100,000 whole genomes from NHS patients and their families, of which 70,000 are participants with certain types of cancer or rare diseases.

As a technology partner, Cognizant will offer end-to-end systems integration and analytics services for the technology platform built by Genomics England, which will help in augmenting its capability and capacity to process samples and interpret findings.

An improved technology backbone supported by advanced analytics will also help Genomics optimise its business processes, as well as simplify the management and analysis of clinical, laboratory and health data.

Genomics England Informatics Infrastructure head David Brown said: "Combining genomic sequence data with medical records is a groundbreaking initiative.

"Researchers will study how best to use genomics in healthcare and interpret the data to help patients.

"Combining genomic sequence data with medical records is a groundbreaking initiative."

"We selected Cognizant for its extensive life sciences capabilities, knowledge of research, management and analysis of clinical data sets, and experience in working with the UK public sector organisations."

The 100,000 Genomes Project aims to enable new scientific discovery, medical insights and diagnostics.

Following completion, the NHS will be able to provide genomic medicine and personalised treatments to patients with conditions that are currently hard to treat.

Cognizant Life Sciences vice-president Bhaskar Sambasivan said: "Large-scale sequencing initiatives like the UK’s 100,000 Genomes Project require a flexible, secure operating platform to help drive innovation in new diagnostic and treatment options for patients and healthcare providers.

"Our culture of investing in understanding our customers’ businesses, deep programme management expertise in the healthcare and life sciences industry, and robust system integration and business analytics capabilities enable us to deliver a broad range of solutions for Genomics England, as it creates genome sequences and clinical data at an unprecedented scale."

Genomics England aims to bring benefits to patients, create an ethical and transparent programme based on consent, allow new scientific discovery and medical insights, as well as kick-start the development of a UK genomics industry.