Cerner takes on genomics with Claritas

Cerner's Millennium Helix solution part of the plan
By Bernie Monegain
04:00 AM
Cerner takes on genomics with Claritas

Cerner Corp., one of the top EHR vendors in the country, is teaming up with Claritas Genomics to advance personalized medicine by building tools and connectivity that will better integrate next-generation, sequence-based diagnostic testing into clinical practice.

The relationship with Cerner will enable Claritas to tap into an existing, scalable computing infrastructure that integrates ordering of genomic sequencing tests, laboratory processing, results interpretation, return of results to the clinician and incorporation of the result in the patient's electronic medical record, executives of both companies announced in a Dec. 5 news release.

The two companies will collaborate to develop a rapid, scalable laboratory solution for molecular diagnostics that is tailored to next generation sequence workflows, which are more complex and generate much more data than traditional molecular diagnostic tests.

Claritas will implement Cerner's Millennium Helix technology, which incorporates molecular diagnostic data into the EMR, as part of the initial phase of the project, Also, Claritas will join Cerner's Reference Lab Network to allow seamless ordering and results return for other Reference Lab Network partners.

[See also: From Tampa to Milan, Medicine gets personal.]

Cerner Capital, a Cerner subsidiary, has invested in the Claritas, becoming a minority shareholder and bringing to a close the company's Series A round. Clay Patterson, managing director of Cerner Capital, has joined the Claritas Board of Directors.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Claritas Genomics is a clinical diagnostics laboratory that provides genetic testing with a focus on pediatric medicine, combining advanced genetic analysis technology with clinical interpretive services that tap into the expertise of specialists at pediatric hospitals.

The company was formed as a spin out from Boston Children's Hospital, with an investment from Life Technologies in February, and was recently joined by Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and now Cerner, as key investors and network partners.

[See also: UPMC launches $100M personalized care initiative.]

"Cerner has long focused on the power of genomics and its impact to clinical processes, and this relationship will help advance the field and define a meaningful narrative in personalized medicine between the realms of research, diagnostics and clinical practice," said Dick Flanigan, senior vice president, Cerner, in a news release. “Claritas' focus on pediatrics is noteworthy, as that's when integrating genomics into clinical practice could be particularly impactful."

"One of Claritas's goals is to enable providers at any pediatric center or practice to use genomics in routine medical care,” Patrice Milos, CEO of Claritas, said in a statement. “Effective use of genomics in medicine requires integrating genetic information into the context of the patient's unique clinical presentation. As a leading provider of both laboratory management systems and EMR systems in the world, Cerner has decades of experience synthesizing complex medical information across organizations to inform patient care and we are extremely pleased to have them as a strategic partner."

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