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Why precision medicine is a “game changer” for health care

Precision medicine is a game changer for patients and caregivers. It enables clinicians to personalize care plans and treatment protocols for each individual patient, and not take a one-size-fits-all approach.

One of the next big opportunities for healthcare technology is to find ways to apply genomic and proteomic information to improve patient care. Even though the human genome project concluded about 14 years ago, we’re still not using broad-scale, genomic-based decisions and protocols in health care today.

Why not? Because genome sequencing has traditionally been expensive, incomplete and time-consuming.  Perhaps the biggest problem for clinicians was deriving meaning from about 3 billion base pairs of proteins found in the human genome. In addition, that meaning, once derived, has not been available to them in their clinical workflows.

But that’s changing, thanks to significant advances in technology and computing power, which innovative pioneers at NantHealth are using to introduce game-changing solutions.

How an Allscripts-NantHealth partnership will improve cancer treatment

If you have a cancerous lump in your throat, brain or breast, you don’t want to wade through 20 or 30 treatment protocol options. You also don’t want to wait several weeks for recommendations. You and your caregivers want to take action – the right one, right away.

We’ve recently expanded our partnership with NantHealth, because it’s doing something truly unique for cancer treatment. NantHealth can sequence the entire human genome – about 20,000 protein-coding genes. It also conducts a deeper level of mapping to find mutations and analyzes sequences of tumor (and normal) cells. This molecular footprint can be up to a terabyte of information per patient.

Allscripts builds the connectivity for genotypic information as it comes from the sequencing machine into the electronic health record (EHR). There, it combines with clinical information (blood type, other physical traits) in the EHR.

NantHealth solutions can then provide three to five treatment options to specifically “attack” individualized genetic mutations. These are the treatments that are most likely to succeed for that patient. It’s powered by a comprehensive oncology clinical library with more than 2,200 regimens and 12,000 clinical trials for all cancers and sub types.

NantHealth will provide the analysis that helps optimize protocol recommendations relatively quickly, in a period of hours or days. This speed is extraordinarily important during the course of cancer treatment.

Once a clinician and patient select a protocol, the health plan needs to approve it. The Allscripts-NantHealth platform can expedite the pre-authorization of drugs and therapies with payers, at the regimen level, in real time. This capability is more efficient for the caregiver and payer, and it also helps ensure they are aligned before treatment begins.

And the Allscripts dbMotion SolutionTM enables oncologists to monitor patients over time, regardless of the EHR platform. It helps close the loop with highly coordinated care for cancer patients.

There’s a brighter future with precision medicine. We’re starting with cancer, but we’re not stopping there. As you might expect with a complete genome sequencing, there is the potential to be more accurate and successful in treating other diseases, too. I’m excited about the promise of these efforts for a healthier future for all.

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