Future Health 6/18/18

Delivering care in the new virtual world…

Integrating Routine DNA Screening Into Primary Care – Patients at Geisinger Clinic will now have the opportunity to participate in a new program beginning this summer.  The Clinic intends to enroll 1,000 patients in a program where their individual DNA sequence will be completed and entered into the patient’s record with the intent of using it as a tool for informing how primary care should be provided.  Assuming the program is a success, the goal is to roll out the program to all 3 million Geisinger patients in the coming years.  Specifically, the Clinic will be analyzing the 77 most common gene mutations which have been strongly associated with disease.  The new initiative builds on a prior program, MyCode established in 2007 to collect and analyze patient derived DNA from more than 200,000 individuals.  The program was based on the whole exome sequencing approach which analyzes about 1% of the genome involved in providing instructions for the production of proteins.  By integrating the genetic testing into the primary care approach, it is anticipated that earlier interventions will be forthcoming and, as a result, better outcomes will result.  It makes sense and the time has come…from colon, lung and breast cancer screening to hypercholesterolemia to problems we haven’t even really identified – we are on the cusp of a new model of primary care.

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