News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
Sign In

Illumina Plans to Tap Consumer Market for its Smartphone-Ready DNA Chip: Will This Create Diagnostic Consulting Opportunities for Pathologists?

Research team at Illumina believes that consumers are ready to access their own gene sequencing data, along with medical lab test data and other diagnostic information

In the field of next-generation gene sequencing, San Diego, California-based Illumina, Inc., (NASDAQ: ILMN) is moving expeditiously to expand into related markets. One such business initiative is to put gene sequencing at the fingertips of consumers via an app and a smartphone.

Although it is expected to take several years to make this feasible, the fact that Illumina is starting to spend money today to serve such a consumer market is a significant fact for pathologists and clinical laboratory executives monitoring developments in the gene sequencing sector.

The company announced plans to develop a chip that plugs into a smartphone and brings genetic medicine to the individual, reported EE Times in a story it published recently. Illumina says it wants to transform smartphones to “molecular stethoscopes” that could eliminate people’s need to visit primary care doctors. (more…)

New York Genome Center Prepares to Enter Clinical Laboratory Testing Market with Exome and Whole Human Genome Sequencing Assays

Funded by both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, this new gene sequencing center is preparing to offer its first genetic tests for use in patient care

Next-generation gene sequencing for clinical diagnostic applications is moving forward at the New York Genome Center (NYGC). Located in New York City, the center is designed to be a genetic medicine technology incubator and has funding from a number of for-profit and not-for-profit sources.

For pathologists and medical laboratory administrators, this creation and operation of this independent sequencing center is a notable development. It shows the willingness of different organizations to come together and fund a collaborative venture to advance exome sequencing and whole-genome sequencing for clinical purposes.

NYGC’s new clinical laboratory obtained a permit from the New York State Department of Health. It also is preparing to submit its first clinical sequencing test—an exome test for inherited disorders—to the state in August, according to a story published in Clinical Sequencing News and posted on GenomeWeb. (more…)

Major Healthcare Systems Begin Building In-House Whole Human Genome Sequencing Capabilities, Creating New Opportunities for Pathologists

Partners HealthCare and Geisinger Health are among health systems making investments and developing the clinical utility of genome sequencing

Next-generation gene sequencing is making fast inroads among the nation’s largest academic centers and health systems. This is an auspicious development for the clinical laboratory industry. It positions pathologists to play a greater role in clinical care and genetic medicine.

News accounts and published research suggest that mega systems—including Partners HealthCare, Geisinger Health System, Scripps Health, and Medical College of Wisconsin—are among first movers investing in genome-sequencing equipment and assembling the medical expertise necessary to establish genetic-testing programs and help physicians utilize gene sequences where appropriate for patient care. (more…)

State Governments Are Jumping on the Biotech and Genetic Testing Bandwagon

Clinical laboratory managers and pathologists can expect more personalized medicine products and services as biotech industry flourishes

Its gold rush time in biotech. Because of the promise of biotechnology to improve patient outcomes—and deliver lots of good-paying, clean jobs, even states are competing to attract the top scientists and companies who conduct research into genetics, molecular diagnostics, and healthcare informatics.

This is an auspicious trend for the medical laboratory testing industry. Among other things, innovations in biotechnology are expected to find application in clinical laboratory tests that improve the diagnostic capabilities of pathologists. Biotech underpins genetic medicine and will fuel advances in personalized medicine. (more…)

More Use of Whole Gene Sequencing Poised to Play Important New Roles in Microbiology and Medical Laboratory Testing

Cheaper, faster, and more accurate rapid gene sequencing technologies show great promise in identifying infectious disease agents

In clinical laboratories across the nation, microbiology has greatly benefited from the introduction of molecular diagnostics in clinical practice. Now the field of microbiology is poised to undergo a more profound transformation of clinical practice, due to advances in whole genome sequencing.

Leaders in this field are calling these developments “transformative” and say they have the potential to change “all aspects of microbiology.” The driver to this emerging trend is advanced technology that makes it possible to sequence the whole gene sequence of an organism in a day or less, for a cost that is $1,000 and falling rapidly.

In the past six months, microbiologists and pathologists at such hospitals as Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, have begun to do whole genome sequencing of microbes found in specimens collected from patients arriving in the emergency room. The New York Times wrote about these developments in a story titled “The New Generation of Microbe Hunters,” that it published on August 29, 2011.