Vermont health system to offer DNA testing as part of primary care services

Burlington-based University of Vermont Health Network began rolling out a pilot program Nov. 1 that allows patients to learn about their genomic DNA as part of their routine clinical care.

The goal is to increase the integration of genetic disease risk with primary care services. Patients will be able to learn if they are more likely to be diagnosed with certain diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

During the pilot phase, UVM Health Network will offer the DNA testing to around 1,000 patients who are at least 18 years old, receive their primary care from a participating provider, are not currently pregnant and are part of the OneCare Vermont Accountable Care Organization.

Patients also have the opportunity to share their data with researchers at the health system. Researchers hope to learn more about health and diseases. In the coming years, UVM Health Network aims to also offer patients the chance to share lifestyle, environmental and nutrition data along with their DNA results.

The UVM Health Network has partnered with Invitae and LunaPBC to pilot the DNA testing program. Invitae will provide information for 147 genes that are indicators of certain diseases.

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