This week on the blog, I would like to introduce you to one of our strategic partners, Ambry Genetics®. Ambry’s CARE (Comprehensive Assessment Risk & Education) Program™ helps organizations using Lightbeam identify patients or their family members at higher risk for genetic diseases, such as certain cancers.
Recently, Shelley Davis, MSN, RNC, CCM, vice president of Clinical Strategy at Lightbeam Health Solutions, sat down with Rob Guigley, chief commercial officer at Ambry Genetics. Their discussion outlines both how Ambry Genetics’ CARE Program works and ways to incorporate genetic screening and risk management into a population health strategy. Below, I’ve summarized a few of key points.
What is CARE and how does it improve population health management?
CARE identifies patients at risk for disease. With this information, patients and their providers have better insights to guide treatment decisions. In addition, all family members can receive testing through CARE, which streamlines screening, provides education on genetic tests and links ordering and results together in one online platform.
As Rob points out in the video, 50 – 80% of people eligible for genetic testing are not tested.1 Analyzing a gene like BRCA1 (breast cancer gene 1) is a great preventive approach but getting to that point requires a cycle of information. Clinicians rely on family history as a first step in risk assessment, and patients must understand how their results can help them. The real power lies in both parties making an informed decision together.
Ambry’s CARE program provides information for clinical decision-making in oncology, cardiology, and neurology. Clinicians receive recommendations for increased screenings and medical management based on a patient’s needs. CARE also gives individuals the option to speak to a genetic counselor so they can learn more about their specific test and/or condition. In addition, Ambry offers no-cost testing for close relatives who may carry the same gene or be at risk.
Empowering Clinicians and Patients with Better Data
Using data integrated with Lightbeam’s population health platform, Ambry provides a more accurate picture of a patient’s likelihood of developing heritable cancers. In combination with solutions like Lightbeam’s Cohort Builder, providers can make better recommendations for screenings or proactive management based on an individual’s risk profile.
On the patient’s side, a better understanding of risk comes from knowing your personal health and genetic predisposition. If they know their increased likelihood of developing cancer, they may be motivated to implement suggested lifestyle changes and adhere to recommended screening and management. Individuals can also discuss this information with family members and urge them to work with a health care provider, thereby increasing the chance they receive testing themselves.
We invite you to watch the rest of Shelley and Rob’s conversation below. For more information about Ambry Genetics, visit www.ambrygen.com.
By Patrick Burton, Vice President of Business Development at Lightbeam Health Solutions