Clinical OMICS

MAY-JUN 2017

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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40 Clinical OMICs May/June 2017 Precision Medicine For the Record Feds Back Pilot Project to Make Genetic Data Sharing More Manageable By Diana Manos, Contributing Editor G enetic data is valuable to physicians, but often difficult to move around because it is so unwieldy. To address that challenge, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has launched a 5-pilot project called Sync for Genes. The project will look for ways to use the latest standards being drafted by the Health Level Seven International (HL7), a group that sets standards, formats, and definitions for exchanging and developing electronic health records (EHRs). HL7's set of standards for application program interfaces (APIs), called Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), is critical for the effective selection and exchange of discreet pieces of data, making genetic data exchange easier and, indeed possible, between EHRs, researchers and laboratories. In January 2017, ONC launched the Sync for Genes project, selecting five common use cases. The pilots are: • Counsyl, a genetic health IT company, will work with Intermountain Healthcare, on family health history genetics; • The Food and Drug Administration is working on sequencing quality and regulatory genomics; • Foundation Medicine is partnering with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, on somatic and tumor testing; • Illumina, a manufacturer of genomic sequencing instruments, is working on next-generation sequencing solutions; and • The National Marrow Donor Program is partnering with Be The Match on tissue matching. Sync for Genes falls under the leadership of Teresa Zayas Cabán, acting chief of staff and the director of the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS). The program is a collaboration between ONC and the National Institutes of Health, with ONC managing it, she told ClinicalOMICs in an interview. "Feedback from the pilots will be used for open-source validation scripts and guidance to make it easier to share genomic information for clinical care and for research," Zayas Cabán said. "The next steps will be to work directly with the developers to see if they can begin to use the standards to enable integration of genomic information into EHRs." The program is fully funded, and will be completed by this summer. The organizations chosen to participate were a jxfzsy / Getty Images The Sync for Gene project aims to make genomic data sharing easier. ( Electronic Health )

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