Clinical OMICS

JAN-FEB 2018

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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Page 45 of 51

Precision Medicine 44 Clinical OMICs January/February 2018 P recision healthcare could go viral if Geisinger Health System succeeds in spreading its pioneering MyCode genomics program across the country. Directing the new Geisinger National Precision Health Initiative, based in Washington, DC, is renowned geneti- cist and genomics expert Huntington F. Willard, Ph.D. "Geisinger is clearly ahead of the curve in integrating genomic sequenc- ing into healthcare," said Michael Snyder, Ph.D., professor and chair, department of genetics, and director of the Center for Genomics and Personal- ized Medicine at Stanford University. "A lot of people are using genomics to solve undiagnosed diseases, or to do big genomics projects, but Geisinger is looking at predicting health and incor- porating this into day-to-day care." Willard agreed that the health sys- tem's approach is fundamentally different from that of other institu- tions. "Thanks to that work, we now have a unique opportunity to build from successes achieved in Pennsyl- vania and New Jersey and take what we've learned there across the coun- try," he said. In those two states, the health system already serves more than 3 million patients through- out 45 counties. It has 13 hospital campuses, two research centers, and a 583,000-member health plan. The system was also one of the first to start using an EHR and now has an average of 14 years of data on many patients. The new initiative was announced in mid-Novem- ber with Willard scheduled to come on board in January. The program will spearhead new strategic partnerships around the MyCode model. Using a turnkey approach, Willard's team will help other healthcare systems around the United States develop their own precision health programs. He will also launch a new Precision Health Innovation Lab, to forward genomics and data sciences. The MyCode Genomic Screening and Counseling program recruits Geisinger patients to submit samples for exome sequencing and analysis, which is carried out by the Regeneron Genetics Center. "When we consent patients for sequencing, we tell them we will use their anonymized data for research but that we will also share any actionable results with their pri- mary care doctor," explained David Ledbetter, Ph.D., Geisinger 's execu- tive vice president and chief scientific officer. "That's directly related to their own preventive health, and distin- guishes MyCode from other genomics projects, which just do rare diseases or research." Once the sequence has been ana- lyzed, noteworthy results are con- firmed and then communicated to the patients through their doctors and genetic counselors. All the clinically actionable data is also integrated with the patient's clinical data, while all the data is kept for future use, and used to forward research. More than 176,000 patients have agreed to be sequenced, and more than 90,000 of them have had their DNA analyzed. Of those, more than 500 have received clinical results that their doctors immediately incorporated Geisinger Goes National with Precision Health Initiative By Malorye Allison Branca "I've heard clinicians say that once sequencing is down to $300 per patient, they will use it." —David Ledbetter, EVP and CSO, Geisinger Health System

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