NorthShore University HealthSystem to expand DNA test program

Evanston, Ill.-based NorthShore University HealthSystem and genomics platform Color announced on Jan. 13 the completion of their initiative to bring free genetic testing to 10,000 patients.

With the goal of providing clinically actionable information from free genomic testing to at least 10,000 patients achieved, NorthShore and Color now plan to further expand the DNA-10K program, which launched in June 2019.

In 2020, the partners will upgrade their genomic testing to include risk information for additional health conditions and will bring the testing to 30 more NorthShore clinics and Chicago-based Swedish Hospital, which was recently acquired by NorthShore.

Participants in the program receive access to Color's genetic testing and whole genome sequencing. The results are automatically incorporated into NorthShore's EHR and explained to patients by Color genetic counselors and NorthShore physicians. The tests offer predictions regarding patients' risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and more, as well as medication responses.

In survey results shared in a news release sent to Becker's Hospital Review, more than half of NorthShore physicians said the DNA-10K program has provided direct clinical benefits for patients, with about 80 percent expecting it to do so in the future, and 70 percent of patients said the program helped them better manage their personal health.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect that while the first phase of the DNA-10K program was free for participants, pricing information for the expanded program has yet to be released, and to reflect that the program is not the largest of its kind in the U.S., as stated in the initial announcement.

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