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Expert panelists from the field of genomics discuss the growth of genetic testing among consumers in webinar.

Health systems looking to engage more closely with consumers may want to consider offering genetic testing. That’s because the types of patients who are going to private companies for this service are willing to share information, participate in research, and many are activated to change their lifestyle.

“The clients will opt to participate in research, answering survey questions about themselves, sharing their genetic data in de-identified aggregate form, and they actually feel good about that philanthropic effort of helping,” said Jill Hagenkord, MD, chief medical officer of Color, a genetic testing company.

“(Consumers) especially love it when you give them information back about themselves,” Dr. Hagenkord said during The Rise of Genomics, a webinar hosted by the Center for Connected Medicine. “And to know that someone has done this testing to learn more about themselves, they might be ripe for suggestion about healthier lifestyle changes.”

However, Dr. Hagenkord cautioned that reimbursement can be a challenge for health systems. Insurers typically only cover genetic testing when certain stringent clinical criteria, such as family history, are met.

Dr. Hagenkord was one of several expert panelists from the field of genomics who presented during the webinar, which was moderated by Rasu Shrestha, MD, MBA, chief innovation officer of UPMC.

Other panelists covered key areas of the growing field of genomics, including the role of primary care physicians, increasing demands for data networks, and the research potential.

  • Mylynda B. Massart, MD, PhD, co-investigator, All of Us Pennsylvania
  • Martin Reese, PhD, founder, president and CEO, Fabric Genomics
  • Houman Modarres, senior director of IP networks, Nokia

Learn more about “The Rise of Genomics” webinar.

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