A Review on Genomics APIs.

The constant improvement and falling prices of whole human genome Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) has resulted in rapid adoption of genomic information at both clinics and research institutions. Considered together, the complexity of genomics data, due to its large volume and diversity along with the need for genomic data sharing, has resulted in the creation of Application Programming Interface (API) for secure, modular, interoperable access to genomic data from different applications, platforms, and even organizations. The Genomics APIs are a set of special protocols that assist software developers in dealing with multiple genomic data sources for building seamless, interoperable applications leading to the advancement of both genomic and clinical research. These APIs help define a standard for retrieval of genomic data from multiple sources as well as to better package genomic information for integration with Electronic Health Records. This review covers three currently available Genomics APIs: a) Google Genomics, b) SMART Genomics, and c) 23andMe. The functionalities, reference implementations (if available) and authentication protocols of each API are reviewed. A comparative analysis of the different features across the three APIs is provided in the Discussion section. Though Genomics APIs are still under active development and have yet to reach widespread adoption, they hold the promise to make building of complicated genomics applications easier with downstream constructive effects on healthcare.

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