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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About the author

Paul Black currently serves as board member and chief executive officer of Allscripts. As CEO, Paul guides company direction to fulfill its global commitment to build Open, connected communities of health. Prior to joining Allscripts in 2012, Paul spent more than 13 years with Cerner Corporation in various executive positions, retiring as Cerner’s chief operating officer in 2007. During his tenure with Cerner, he helped build the company into a market leader in healthcare information technology with more than $1.5 billion in annual revenue. Paul also spent 12 years with IBM Corporation in a variety of leadership positions in sales, product marketing and professional services. Paul has served on several private company and nonprofit boards of directors for companies in healthcare information technology, healthcare services and consumer Internet marketing. He is currently immediate past chairman and an officer of Truman Medical Centers, a 400-bed safety net academic hospital in Kansas City, Mo. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa.

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


Dr Prasad Bhave says:

07/07/2015 at 6:17 am

One of the best ways to achieve “Precision Medicine” objectives is by integrating EHR with big data genomics and predictive analysis. Cancer Care is the first immediate application of this Population health initiative !
This is a perfect way to achieve the goals of Precision Medicine , Genomics , Population Health for the optimal and effective management of Cancers.
Wonderful vision and foresight of CEO Paul Black , in collaborating with NantHealth / Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong !
Congratulations to Allscripts !


sequencing companies says:

03/17/2016 at 10:53 pm

I really like your post. Precision medicine has the potential to radically change the way of health care currently, but this requires a medical team to understand the complexity of the field.


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