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Startup Combines Genetic Consultation, Telehealth

June 12, 2017
by David Raths
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Genome Medical partners with genetic testing companies to explain results to patients

A San Francisco-based startup has created an independent network of clinical genomic experts to offer genetic consultation services to patients and providers via telehealth.

Genome Medical was co-founded by Lisa Alderson and Randy Scott, former executives of Invitae, a company that specializes in genetic diagnostics for hereditary disorders, along with Robert C. Green, M.D., M.P.H., a medical geneticist who directs the Genomes2People Research Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

In an interview with CNBC, Alderson said genetic-testing companies are willing to pay for access to its experts, who can help patients understand their results. For instance, Illumina, maker of DNA sequencing machines, is partnering with Genome Medical for its “Understand Your Genome” program.

"Genomic medicine already has enormous potential to speed diagnosis, improve patient outcomes and reduce the cost of care," said Green in a prepared statement. "Yet most physicians aren't adequately trained to use genetic information, and there are too few experts to meet the growing demand for test selection and test interpretation. Genome Medical was created to solve these access challenges."

Genome Medical is structured as an independent medical practice. Its experts provide services through a secure telehealth platform. During these sessions, they can:

• Assess personal and family medical history to determine the risk for a genetic disease, and help navigate the complex array of genetic testing options;

• Explain and interpret genetic test results, including reports from physician-ordered tests and direct-to-consumer testing companies; and

• Provide guidance on genetic testing in reproductive health, proactive health and cancer susceptibility.

The company has secured more than $12 million in Series A funding from health technology venture firms, including Canaan Partners, Illumina Ventures, HealthInvest Equity Partners and Flywheel Ventures. Canaan Partners led the financing.

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