NorthShore University HealthSystem is partnering with a clinical genetic testing lab to integrate genomic data into the health system’s EHR to detect diseases earlier and even predict a patient’s risk of certain cancers.
The new collaboration, announced on Tuesday, incorporates tests by Ambry Genetics into NorthShore’s Genomic Health Initiative and enters the genomic data of 10,000 patients into the provider's medical records system. The initiative is part of a study aimed at understanding the link between genetic variations and certain diseases.
“This collaboration will help advance healthcare and equip clinicians caring for a patient with the most precise, up-to-date treatment information,” said Michael Caplan, M.D., the chief scientific officer of the Illinois integrated health system affiliated with the University of Chicago.
NorthShore wants to use the partnership to “empower clinicians with world class diagnostic tools” and advance precision medicine efforts through its Center for Personalized Medicine. The health system believes the new partnership could be a “blueprint for hospitals broadly.” Other providers, like Inova Health System, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Stanford Medicine are already investing heavily in integrating genomic data and building research institutes devoted solely to personalized medicine.
Ambry and NorthShore will also utilize a genetic risk score test developed in-house to help physicians understand each patient’s risk for certain diseases like prostate cancer.
The new partnership comes on the heels of an announcement that NorthShore will give patients the option to undergo genetic testing at their annual checkup. The system uses an algorithm to scan data in the patient’s EHR to determine which tests are appropriate.