NorthShore to offer 10,000 primary care patients DNA testing services

Evanston, Ill.-based NorthShore University HealthSystem will offer more than 10,000 patients access to genetic testing services as part of a new initiative dubbed "DNA10K."

DNA10K is an extension of a pilot program NorthShore launched with genomics company Color, which offered patients the opportunity to undergo genetic testing as part of a routine primary care visit. More than 40 percent eligible patients enrolled during the pilot, suggesting patients are interested in understanding their genetic makeup, according to NorthShore.

Under DNA10K, primary care patients will have the option to receive genetic testing and whole genome sequencing services from Color by providing a blood sample. The program will also connect patients with board-certified genetic counselors and clinical pharmacists from Color and NorthShore, who will help interpret test results.

NorthShore's vision is that DNA10K will arm physicians with relevant information to inform personalized treatment decisions for each patients, such as offering preventive steps to patients at risk for hereditary conditions.

DNA10K is part of NorthShore's ongoing work in genetic testing.

In 2018, NorthShore and genetic sequencing company Ambry Genetics released tests to assess patients' risk of developing two types of cancer. That spring, the health system entered into a development partnership with direct-to-consumer genetics company Helix to develop products that use genetic tests to stratify a patient's risk for chronic conditions.

"Our experience and expertise in genomic medicine allows us to bring a greater level of understanding and new insight, which leads to deeper and more powerful patient relationships, better outcomes and informed preventative actions for the individual and family," J.P. Gallagher, president and CEO of NorthShore, said in a news release.

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