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Bringing personalized medicine to seniors through genetics

May 8, 2014
by Richard R. Rogoski
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IBM announced this week that it is collaborating with Coriell Life Sciences, a provider of point of care genetic analysis, and CareKinesis Inc., a medication risk mitigation pharmacy services firm, to bring personalized medicine to seniors based on their genetic data.

Initially these three companies are rolling out this service for Program for All Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) clients which care for more than 5,000 seniors. It is anticipated that this initiative will help increase medication safety by better understanding how high-risk individuals react to specific medications and treatments.

According to a press release, Coriell Life Sciences worked with IBM to build a scalable, cloud-based solution that safely and cost-effectively stores millions of genetic data points in Coriell Life Sciences’ GeneVault. This data is then interpreted and shared with physicians through CareKinesis, which adds an additional layer of medication management decision factors into a holistic tool for physicians within PACE organizations. These physicians can then securely access an individual's genomic interpretation via any web-connected device.

“The goal of personalized medicine is to individualize healthcare by using knowledge of patients’ health history, behaviors, environments, and, most recently, individual genetic makeup when making clinical decisions,” explained CareKinesis CEO Calvin H. Knowlton, BSPharm, MDiv, PhD. “This initiative will allow physicians to collaborate with CareKinesis pharmacists to access a patient’s genetic data to better understand what drug treatments are likely to be responded to, thus reducing medication-related problems and hospital visits, while decreasing the individual’s overall healthcare costs.”