LOS ALTOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GenomeSmart, a Silicon Valley-based company developing a platform technology to simplify and enable cost-effective and medically responsible broad use of genetic testing in healthcare, today announced the general availability of the company’s first product, GenomeBrain™. GenomeBrain simplifies and speeds the pre-test process to under 10 minutes by matching an individual’s relevant personal and medical history plus ethnicity and age with national guidelines to recommended medically-actionable genetic tests. Individuals and their clinicians can then use the generated reports to determine a testing plan and appropriate specialist referrals based on individual need.
“More than 10 million genetic tests were performed in the United States in 2018, and this is just the beginning of an explosion in medicine to utilize genetics to deliver on the promises of personalized medicine and do a better job in treating patients with hereditary disease,” said Sanjay Sathe, CEO and co-founder, GenomeSmart. “While the growing testing volumes signal a positive change in attitudes toward the value of genetics, we know that building the infrastructure for genetic counselors, physicians and health systems to scale genetic testing is what is needed to implement cost-effective and evidence-based personalized medicine powered by genetics.”
GenomeBrain was developed using the expertise of genetic counselors from leading hospital systems. The platform is launched with support for hereditary cancer and reproductive genetic testing, with a broad pipeline of additions across other disease areas including cardiovascular health and pharmacogenomics soon to follow.
“GenomeBrain addresses the most significant pain point in genetic medicine today- which is to reduce the load on genetic counselors and experts, to risk-stratify patient populations and to map testing to medical guidelines and insurance eligibility,” said Vandana Sathe, co-founder and chief scientific officer. “Our personal experience and research suggest significant gaps in genetic medicine are developing that need to be addressed quickly. Scientific evidence and consumer demand are pushing for genetic testing to be part of mainstream medicine, and we want to provide the technology that enables that reality, since by its very definition, genetics cannot be one size fits all.”
GenomeBrain is patterned after the typical pre-test workflow with a goal of automating manual tasks that can then free up clinician time for patient care based on a trusted pre-visit triage. The machine-learning engine leverages all available data sets including the individual's history input, medical guidelines databases and available test types to instantly profile match the individual to available genetic tests. This exercise takes into account millions of combinations in run time to instantly produce the result: a personalized report with the recommendation of the test type suggested for each individual. All updates to the guidelines are continuously programmed into the code. The platform is user friendly for both consumers and clinicians, is easily implemented and is accessible through a desktop, tablet or smartphone. The application and report delivery is highly configurable and can be white-labeled for customers who want to incorporate GenomeBrain into their existing workflows or create a streamlined customer experience.
GenomeBrain’s utility is not limited to use by genetic counselors and healthcare providers. The platform can also be used by genetic testing labs to match patient profiles to medical guidelines in order to streamline and accelerate claims processing. Employers instituting population health programs, which include genetic testing, can also benefit from direct use of GenomeBrain’s consumer-friendly risk assessment to help employees navigate this valuable benefit and support healthy workforce initiatives. In addition, the education module GenoLearn™ provides valuable education for individuals on genetic testing in general.
The vision for GenomeBrain came from the pairing of Vandana’s genetics industry experience with Sanjay’s technology industry success. The husband and wife wanted to combine their areas of expertise to ensure genetics becomes a part of routine healthcare and is used to prevent unnecessary pain, suffering and expense. “It occurred to us that the innovation needed was to support genetic testing experts and healthcare providers with machine learning to help match individuals with the most relevant types of genetic tests to get them screened faster,” Sanjay said. Sanjay previously founded the successful HR tech startup RiseSmart, which was acquired by the $23 billion global HR services giant Randstad for $100 million in 2015. RiseSmart’s outplacement solution leveraged proprietary machine-learning technology to help match laid-off workers with new jobs.
GenomeSmart is an angel-funded startup supported by a clinical board of advisors that includes top genetics experts from the Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson, Yale, Stanford, NYC Health, Boston, Columbia and UCSF. The company, seeking to make meaningful improvements to the healthcare ecosystem, has also enlisted a distinguished board of business advisors including executives with experience at GlaxoSmithKline, UnitedHealthcare, Blue Shield of California, Johns Hopkins University and the American College of Preventive Medicine.
Most recently, the company added two senior industry leaders to its executive team. Shannon Kieran, a board-certified genetic counselor and an established leader in personalized genomics who has served in leadership roles at Navigenics, Color Genomics, Genome Medical and Thermo Fisher Scientific, has been named executive vice president and will lead the company’s clinical vision. Kenny Wong, also a board-certified genetic counselor and a former product leader from Counsyl and Myriad Genetics, joins as vice president, products.
Resources for Media
- Photos of Vandana Sathe, Sanjay Sathe, Shannon Kieran, Kenny Wong and the GenomeSmart team
- Video overview of GenomeSmart
GenomeSmart is on a mission to help people make better decisions about their health through genomics. In May 2019, the company launched GenomeBrain™, the first AI-based digital genetic risk assessment and matching platform to address gaps in today’s pre-test genetic services to ensure individuals get easy access to genetic testing needed for their health. The affordable GenomeBrain solution is available to help genetic counselors, physicians, hospital systems, genetic testing labs, insurance companies, and corporations improve the effective use of genetic testing to save lives, improve quality and reduce costs of healthcare.