U-M researchers who manage and analyze large volumes of data protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) now have a new secure computing tool at their disposal: the HIPAA-aligned “Armis” high performance computing cluster.

Armis operates in tandem with the HIPAA-aligned Turbo Research Storage service, which has been available since Fall 2015, to provide a comprehensive computing and storage platform to unleash the power of high performance computing for research involving HIPAA-protected data.

“Armis will allow researchers in fields ranging from medicine and public health to the biological and social sciences to draw on powerful high performance computing tools while adhering to the requirements of HIPAA,” said Eric Michielssen, Associate Vice President – Advanced Research Computing. “It will open up new opportunities for faculty and students and further boost interdisciplinary research engendered by the Data Science Initiative.”

Armis is available to all researchers on campus, and operated by Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services (ARC-TS). Armis is accessed and used in essentially the same way as the Flux HPC cluster. Users of Armis have access to the same software as Flux users, including statistical packages like Stata, R, and SAS.

“Armis will prove immensely useful to healthcare researchers working with sensitive patient information. As we try to fulfill the promise of big data in medicine and turn precision medicine from an idea into a reality, we need to analyze large volumes of diverse data types. Turning billions of clinical observations, genomic data elements, and unstructured data into something that impacts real patient care requires the high performance computing power of Armis,” says Sachin Kheterpal, MD, MBA, Senior Director of the University of Michigan Medical School Research Data Warehouse.

Use of Armis has certain advantages even for researchers using data that do not directly fall under HIPAA regulations. Researchers using other forms of sensitive data requiring stricter controls and security practices (for example, through agreements with data providers or institutional review boards) might find that Armis may meet their needs.

For more information on Armis:

  • Configuration: arc-ts.umich.edu/armis-configuration
  • Ordering: arc-ts.umich.edu/armisform
  • User Guide: arc-ts.umich.edu/using-armis

Please email arc-contact@umich.edu with any questions.