- Cerner is betting on genomics to take it from a data-sharing company to a full-fledged healthcare company, the Kansas City Star reports.
- Using DNA profiles from 82 volunteers within the company, Cerner hopes to show that having somebody’s genetic blueprint can prevent illnesses or reduce their effects, cutting healthcare costs along the way.
- Cerner wanted to have 100 complete sets of DNA to work with, but got 82. The pilot program is voluntary.
Cerner President Zane Burke said in a statement that understanding a person’s DNA will enable providers to tailor more patient-specific interventions and help patients take responsibility for their own health risks.
“We’re now able to take vast amounts of data, upload that data, run programs against that data — diabetes protocol, care management protocol — and see how we identify people who need intervention,” Burke said. “We need to understand the whole phone book, but get down to the personal level.”
Employees participating in the program get their DNA sequenced by direct-to-consumer genomics company 23andMe. They then work with diet and health coaches to determine if they’re at higher risk than the general population for four conditions: obesity, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, and depression.
The global next-generation sequencing market is expected to hit $14 billion by 2024, buoyed by advances in companion diagnostics and biomarkers for use in treating cancer, according to a report by Grand View Research.
Genomics is trending how medicine and health is approached. Last month, IBM Watson Health, Quest Diagnostics, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer launched a genomic sequencing service to bring precision cancer treatments to patients around the country. IBM Watson and Quest are offering the service to their employees who have cancer and subsidizing the cost.