WellSpan Health and Helix Announce Partnership to Improve Patient Health Outcomes with New Population Genomics Program

WellSpan Health and Helix Announce Partnership to Improve Patient Health Outcomes with New Population Genomics Program

York, Pennsylvania, Dec. 08 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WellSpan Health and Helix, the nation’s leading population genomics and viral surveillance company, today announced a partnership to create a comprehensive population genomics program designed to improve health care outcomes. patients by integrating genetic knowledge into clinical care and research.

Interested patients can have a DNA sample taken to generate genomic data. Once obtained, with their consent, their sample results will be incorporated into their electronic medical record (EMR), providing them and their doctors with valuable information about their personal health.

Led by Dr. C. Anwar A. Chahal, director of the Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Diseases, and Dr. David Kann, medical director of Precision Medicine, this new program aligns with WellSpan’s vision to reinvent healthcare and improve outcomes to create healthier communities.

“We believe understanding what makes each of our patients unique is key to providing the most personalized, high-quality healthcare outcomes possible. Our partnership with Helix will allow us to take an important step towards realizing this promise by providing participating patients with care and treatment options specific to their genetic data,” said Dr. Anthony Aquilina, Executive Vice President and Physician- head of WellSpan Health.

Additionally, genomic data, which removes any information that could directly identify an individual, from consenting participants can help WellSpan better understand the health of its overall population and help researchers learn about the root causes of certain diseases and the most effective treatments. more effective for them.

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, including breast and colorectal cancers.

“Helix’s partnership with WellSpan Health will provide approximately 2,600 physicians and clinicians and their participating patients with access to critical information that will help more effectively uncover genetic risk at the point of care to improve health outcomes,” said said Helix CEO and Co-Founder James Lu. “Population genomics will transform healthcare delivery and outcomes, and Helix and WellSpan are paving the way for a future of more personalized medicine for everyone. »

The genetic reports made available by this program can allow patients and their healthcare providers to develop precision healthcare plans to proactively mitigate serious health risks and adopt a more preventative and individualized approach. of their care.

Powered by one of the largest genomic sequencing laboratories in the world, Helix enables the generation of high-quality, population-scale data using its proprietary Exome+® assay. Special best practices are used to ensure data confidentiality. Helix is ​​also the first and only clinical laboratory to receive de novo clearance from the FDA for a full exome sequencing platform.

WellSpan will leverage Helix’s genomics platform and unique Sequence Once, Query Often™ model. This allows for future testing that provides new and ongoing health information without the need to collect additional genetic samples from each patient. In addition to clinically actionable disease screening, Helix will also provide population genomics support, including recruitment and engagement, feedback of results, and basic and translational research.

WellSpan joins Helix’s leading group of health systems partners of more than 30,000 healthcare professionals and nearly 500,000 participating patients across the United States. These programs have already found that 1 in 75 participants have tested positive for a serious actionable genetic condition, 90% of which would not have been discovered by traditional medical practice.

Participation in this soon to be named WellSpan research program will be entirely optional and at no cost to the participant. Details on how to apply for participation in the program will be provided to WellSpan communities in early 2023, prior to the official launch of the program.


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