Precision Medicine

The Precision Medicine Continuum

I have been watching the national conversation surrounding precision medicine over the last couple of years. Until recently, KLAS was largely unsure how we would approach this new market. Up until today, genomics has lived in the realm of academic research and data curation.

Given that KLAS focuses our research towards hospitals, outpatient clinics, ACOs, health plans, payers, and those who are concerned about how healthcare is being delivered, we’ve been at a loss on how to provide helpful intel for them. Now, finally, we’re seeing movement in the market that we’re excited to provide insights on.

Genomics research has enjoyed a lot of development over the last 20 years, given the Human Genome Project and the Precision Medicine Initiative from the White House.

There’s no shortage of projects going on today within research groups and within the pharmaceutical industry, and the technologies that they employ drastically differ from what KLAS has traditionally focused on, healthcare software and services.

More specifically KLAS has operated within the realm of helping providers make smart decisions on their IT and services.  This means that KLAS will take a clinical informatics approach to precision medicine, and those markets have been nascent and practically nonexistent.

We’ve reached a point of emergence for the applied genomics market. Historically only large facilities with deep resources could walk down the path of precision medicine. Advancements are still immature, but we’ve begun to hear from organizations about applied genomics use cases.

As I head up applied precision medicine research for KLAS, my hope is to help the market understand, at least with our initial foray into this space, patient care-focused capabilities that are early but show promise. I want to help health systems progress their internal conversations on technology considerations related to precision medicine activities.

As a launching-off point, we want to help hospitals go from “not knowing what they don’t know” to “knowing what they don’t know”, by empowering administrators with market knowledge that addresses their precision medicine infrastructure, data, and applications needs.

One thought leader I spoke with described these types of solutions as the last mile of genomics for healthcare. In other words, putting genomics knowledge to work for people in a practical way that benefits their health, that benefits cost reduction and quality improvement for healthcare providers.

I think that there are a lot of opportunities, and there’s a lot of real energy taking place and real investment taking place in the market right now, and we want to discover that.

More than anything else, we want to validate what we’re hearing about the market, to help lead providers to make the best decisions in applied genomics. Our initial research will hopefully be focused on validating some early examples of how vendors are helping health systems with varied resources to throw at an internal precision medicine program, especially in lieu of having the funding or the staff to undergo a 100,000-patient sequencing effort.

While these low-investment solutions are still early, they hold promise for an effective precision medicine market for healthcare organizations of any size.