Overcoming the hurdles slowing the use of genomics data
ORLANDO - What purpose does genomic data serve if it can’t be used in traditional clinical workflows?
This question was posed by 2bPrecise CMO Joel Diamond on Monday. And he made it very clear: Genomic will not be useful until workflows are changed.
The Allscripts’ subsidiary is seeking to solve this major issue, Diamond said. Currently, data is collected and stored discreetly in the cloud. In an ideal world, these tools would be blended into clinical workflow to make genomic data easier to use.
“Rather than talking about genomics on a big scale, we’re still in an era of making this information available and easy to understand,” Diamond said. “Right now, an average doctor can’t really interpret this information.”
Diamond pointed to the value genomics can bring to clinical care. It can help explain why some patients with the same condition respond to certain drugs and some do not. It’s also gaining traction in the NICU and cardiology units.
When Diamond asked attendees their thoughts on the biggest barriers to precision medicine, the overwhelming responses were: reimbursement. Genomic testing isn’t covered by insurance.
These issues are relevant, Diamond explained. But interoperability is also a burden. Where even if hospitals have this data, most can’t read the information or share it. At the moment, hospitals have no policies in place to handle these large, raw files and make it valuable at the point of care.
So, when will genetic testing be ready for prime time?
“The industry has a long way to go. It’s a slow process,” Diamond said. “Those who have come to HIMSS for a long time have seen how long it took for EHRs and interoperability to take effect. And last year the buzzword was analytics. I maintain this will be mainstream in less time than we know it.”
“The next step is helping with population health tools. What if we could do the clinical testing to determine factors that put patients at risk?” he continued. “Providers could do something in a proactive fashion: De-risk a population of patients and really change the way they thinking about genomics.”
2BPrecise announced today the general availability of its cloud-based precision medicine platform, which captures and stores genomic data. The platform allows providers to practically apply precision medicine data to diagnose and treat patients, by inserting the data into clinical workflows.
This article is part of our ongoing coverage of HIMSS17. Visit Destination HIMSS17 for previews, reporting live from the show floor and after the conference.