Preparing for the Precision Medicine Summit - Cover

Preparing for the Precision Medicine Summit

I feel lucky to direct market research in an area as fascinating as precision medicine.

This week, my excitement may just hit an all-time high. On March 4th and 5th, KLAS and NorthShore University HealthSystem will co-host a Precision Medicine Summit. We’re referring to it as buildPM because of our goal to build an implementation guide that supports program development.

 At this exciting event, pathologists, oncologists, pharmacists, researchers, administrators, and vendors will brave the Chicago winter to discuss practical ways to integrate precision medicine in the clinical setting.

How It Came About

KLAS’ current initiatives in the area of precision medicine center on answering two fundamental questions:

  1. Who are the early vendor leaders in precision medicine?
  2. How are the pioneering institutions in precision medicine finding success?

In 2018, we kicked off our efforts to answer the first question by validating which precision medicine capabilities providers are currently using. These results were published in the Precision Medicine Vendor Validations and Precision Medicine Provider Validations reports. Now that we understand the role of key functionality in the market, we plan to identify which vendors are partnering best at delivering critical supplemental services and tools.

We also want to share examples of success. Understanding the methodologies, governance initiatives, and funding strategies that are working today will be crucial for healthcare organizations hoping to realize value today and excel tomorrow.

As always, we know that the best source of truth is our provider friends. We organized the buildPM roundtable meeting so that the forerunners in the industry could gather for two days of learning and collaboration. We hope to establish provider expectations and give healthcare organizations ideas for what to consider when developing and scaling their precision medicine efforts.

Finding Vendor Leaders   

In most healthcare IT market segments, a vast number of buying decisions are based on providers’ hopes to consolidate. The precision medicine market is an exception. With over 150 viable commercial entities in this emerging space, many of them new startups, providers need help navigating the field.

KLAS hopes to create clarity in a market that lacks consolidation. Provider organizations are looking for multiple partners to accommodate various aspects of molecular diagnostics and clinical genomics workflows.

There are many questions to answer, including:

  • Who can deliver accurate, timely, and actionable diagnostic insights to clinicians?
  • Whose approach best streamlines and automates these workflows?
  • Who has the expertise to supplement internal precision medicine efforts?

Many provider organizations lack the resources needed to host their own next-generation sequencing services. They need vendors that can not only help with data infrastructure and strategy for precision medicine, but also serve as an outsourcing partner. KLAS hopes to find answers to all of the aforementioned questions through our future research and by listening closely at buildPM.


Learning What Works

Another important question we’ll need to answer at the summit is how providers and vendors expect precision medicine to penetrate the market and be adopted into patient care. Obviously, those ends will be achieved through best practices. But what are the best practices, and how can we help more organizations harness them?

Some might think it’s too early to know what the best practices are. After all, many provider organizations have been waiting to see how decisions from the FDA, the ONC, and CMS play out before diving deep into precision medicine. They aren’t sure how to access reimbursement or whether precision medicine will solidify as a business case over the next several years.

But the reality is that there are clinical use cases today that can be positively and confidently impacted by genomic insights. If there weren’t, we wouldn’t be witnessing so much activity and investment from the pioneering organizations in precision medicine. Some of these organizations have already attained inspiring patient outcomes and cost savings.

We want to make sure these achievements are shared openly. That’s why buildPM will focus on gathering and discussing case studies from the participants. Our hope is that, like those involved in the Arch Collaborative, providers who attend or learn from the summit will gain ideas for how to deeply integrate precision medicine into their clinical practice.

Remembering Patients

Because of past events such as our Patient Engagement Summit, KLAS knows at least one point that will surface at the summit in Chicago: that the patient must be at the center of every long-term precision medicine strategy.

I imagine we’ll discuss how the healthcare technology industry has failed the patient historically. Patients haven’t been considered, included, or educated enough about the implications of their care decisions. We have a unique opportunity to account for how to incorporate the person deeply into the concept of personalized medicine.

I know my provider and vendor friends have a deep interest in utilizing precision medicine to bless the lives of their patients and loved ones. That’s why I’m confident that buildPM will be a success—because when you rally enough smart and committed professionals around a charge to move the market, progress is the only possibility.