UCLA Health Pilot Program Looks to Integrate Genomic Patient Data into Epic EHRs: Currently Clinical Pathology Laboratories Store This Data

Use of genomic data collector could mean competition for medical laboratories that now store, analyze, and interpret genetic data

UCLA Health is working to integrate genomic patient data into its Epic electronic health record (EHR) system. This pilot project could signal potential competition for pathology groups and clinical laboratories that currently are the main repositories for the storage, analysis, and interpretation of genetic data.

Pilot Program Designed to Support Precision Medicine Research

As it becomes faster, cheaper, and easier to sequence human exomes and genomes, the challenge is how to store a patient’s gene data and make it available at the time care is provided.

UCLA Health is teaming with Seattle-based startup ActX in an effort to solve this problem. ActX represents a relatively new type of company—a genomic data collector (GDC)—and it is developing a critical solution—EHR Integration. The emergence of GDCs could affect clinical laboratories that currently provide most of the storage, analysis, and interpretation of genetic data.

ActX Founder and CEO Andrew Ury, MD, told MedCity News that, “While genetics can’t predict everything, genetics can predict more and more and whether a patient has a side effect. We think this is the future.”

ActX currently provides genomic decision support to physicians using Allscripts and Greenway Health ambulatory EHRs. A patient’s genetic information is collected through a saliva sample and then analyzed in real-time. Using a patient’s genetic code, the ActX application alerts physicians to possible medication adverse reactions and efficacy as well as actionable medical risks and patients’ carrier status. (more…)