Memorial Hermann and Helix partner in population genomics initiative to drive precision healthcare for Texans

HOUSTON and SAN MATEO, Calif., June 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Helix, a leading population genomics and viral surveillance company, will begin working with Memorial Hermann Health System, an award-winning nonprofit health system committed to creating Houston communities – in a new partnership this month. The two organizations will launch a population genomics program designed to use DNA information to search for hidden health risks. The information will be used to help the healthcare system better understand the health of its overall population and will give patients and their providers insight into their personal health to personalize patient care and create proactive care plans to address them. against the main risk factors.

With an expected 100,000 participants, it will be one of the largest population health programs in the Texas. The program will be used by Memorial Hermann to redefine health care for the communities the system has served for more than 115 years. Participants will have direct access to their personal genetic data, which can help providers initially determine a patient’s risk for serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. By identifying these risks before symptoms appear, providers and patients can make proactive care decisions that can delay, reduce, or even prevent adverse health effects. Participation in the program will be entirely voluntary, at no cost to the participant.

“Unleashing the knowledge of DNA will enable our affiliate providers to create accurate, personalized plans for our patients and protect more people from preventable disease,” said Dr. David Callender, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann. “Our mission is to improve the health of everyone we serve. We know that population genomics is an increasingly important resource for providing patients with the best possible care and ultimately improving their long-term health.

Powered by one of the largest CLIA/CAP sequencing laboratories in the world, Helix enables the generation of high-quality, population-scale data using its proprietary Exome+® assay. Helix is ​​also the first and only laboratory to receive de novo clearance from the FDA for a full exome sequencing platform. The platform uses industry best practices for data security to prevent misuse of stored information. Additionally, participants have full control over how their information is used and shared, and who receives their information.

By applying its end-to-end genomics platform and its unique Sequence Once, Query Often™ model, Helix can run future tests without having to collect additional genetic samples beyond the initial collection of genetic data, which involves a sample single sample of saliva collected at home and then sent by post. So as new tests are created, providers and patients can have ongoing insight into their health.

“Our partnership with Memorial Hermann gives patients access to information that can change the course of their lives. For example, a patient who learns that they are at high risk for a certain disease is able to make proactive decisions that can potentially change the course of his life’s condition, said James Lu, MD, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Helix. “This collaboration will also provide Memorial Hermann and its research partners with genomic data that will have lasting implications for critical health discoveries and improved patient care.”

In addition to its work with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Helix has previously partnered with other highly respected organizations in the healthcare industry through similar initiatives. In these programs, as many as one in 75 participants were found to be at risk for a serious health condition, 90% of which would not have been discovered through traditional practice.

“By identifying risk earlier, Memorial Hermann is innovating the delivery of care to go beyond standard medical practice. Together with their providers, we hope to inspire patients – whether through medication, diet and exercise, behavioral changes, or other medical options — to take greater control of their health,” Callender said.

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SOURCE Memorial Hermann Health System

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