Genomic testing offers hope for better individualized therapies to improve your health. One hurdle that may be standing between you and precision medicine is how to integrate the vast amounts of genomic data into your electronic health record in a format that your physician can easily use to guide your care.
Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B., director, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, recently joined other leaders from government and business to discuss the challenges and benefits of managing big data in healthcare at the 2017 Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C. Dr. Stewart spoke at a panel discussion, “Genetic Data Movement Through the Health System: Integrating Data Across Academia, Government and Industry for Research and Patient Access.”
The promise of genomics
Using his own experience having his genome sequenced as an example, Dr. Stewart highlighted the promise that genomic testing will eventually be able to offer all people, including those who are healthy at the time of testing. To illustrate the benefits of genomic testing, he posed these questions:
Barriers to implementing genomics
Next, Dr. Stewart acknowledged that while genomic medicine offers great promise, there are still many barriers to overcome before it can be implemented into daily medical practice.
As an example of these challenges, he highlighted the barriers to adding genomics test results into patient care. These questions are at the heart of intense efforts at Mayo Clinic:
Dr. Stewart explained that Mayo Clinic is taking many steps to address these issues.
“In 2016, we helped 12,000 patients through genetic sequence testing. Each of these tests generates complex data that must be analyzed, stored and made accessible for physicians and patients,” says Dr. Stewart. “We are addressing these issues through ongoing clinical trials and by working with physicians, electronic health record providers and insurers to implement this promising technology.”
The conference provided an important venue to share Mayo’s expertise and experience and learn from others addressing the same challenges.
“At the conference, we had the opportunity to advance the implementation of genomic medicine by educating many of the attendees who will ultimately set the regulations and address the same issues for their own patients,” says Dr. Stewart.
Continue the conversation about precision medicine
Join us at Individualizing Medicine 2017: Advancing Care Through Genomics. The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, with support from the Jackson Family Foundation, is hosting the sixth annual genomics conference, October 9–10, in Rochester, Minnesota.