New initiative combines world-class clinical genomics experts, primary care leaders, and implementation scientists to solve challenges facing health care systems adopting precision medicine in primary care.
BOSTON, MA — March 23, 2021
Ariadne Labs today announced the launch of the Precision Population Health initiative. Developed in collaboration with Genomes2People, a research program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Broad Institute and Harvard Medical School, this new initiative aims to solve the system challenges in adopting precision medicine in primary care, and bring about a promising, equitable approach to medicine for every patient, everywhere. Together, Ariadne Labs and Genomes2People will create implementation pathways, tools and guides that work across various clinical contexts with the ultimate plan of making these accessible to health systems interested in adopting and practicing precision medicine at scale.
Ariadne Labs has been exploring the role of precision medicine in primary health care since 2018 as part of the organization’s Spark Grant innovation incubation pipeline. That project, led by Nic Encina, formerly Chief Science & Technology Officer at Ariadne Labs, and newly appointed Director of Strategy of the Precision Population Health initiative, found that while precision medicine has revolutionized specialty care, particularly in the oncology and rare disease spaces, a knowledge chasm often exists between specialty care and primary care.
“After nearly two decades since the Human Genome Project revolutionized our understanding of the role of genetics on human health, we’re finally on the verge of seeing these discoveries being applied more broadly to patients,” said Encina. “This initiative will use our combined expertise in public health, genomic medicine and health system innovation to address the implementation challenges in translating these technologies across healthcare contexts.”
The Precision Population Health initiative will address a broad spectrum of implementation challenges related to translating precision medicine into primary care, ranging from clinician training and team coordination to outlining important considerations when choosing a lab or test to patient education.
The Precision Population Health initiative will be led by Robert C. Green, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine (Genetics) at Harvard Medical School and a physician-scientist who directs the Genomes2People Research Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Broad Institute and Harvard Medical School. Genomes2People currently conducts cutting-edge empirical research in translating genomics into health including the first rigorous trials to provide comprehensive genome sequencing to adults and newborn infants.
“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to take our clinical research evidence base, gathered over the past 10 years, and help create scalable solutions to equitably expand access to precision medicine to everyone, including underrepresented minorities who suffer from health disparities” said Green. “Starting with a carefully managed approach to preventive genomics, we believe that precision population health will save lives, enhance wellness and increase longevity.”
Additional well-established investigators and policy leaders who will be contributing to the new initiative include Elizabeth Karlson, MD, MS at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Kurt Christensen, PhD and Ann Wu, MD, MPH at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Jason Vassy, MD, MPH at the VA Boston Healthcare System and Tshaka Cunningham, PhD of TruGenomix Health Inc. and the Faith Based Genetic Research Institute.
“If precision medicine is to be fully integrated into population health and the day-to-day practice of medicine at scale, significant health system innovations will be required,” said Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, Founder and Chair of Ariadne Labs. “Together, Ariadne Labs and Genomes2People are uniquely positioned to make precision medicine accessible to all patients—whether they’re treated at a major academic medical center or in a small, community-based setting.”
“Our vision is not to simply introduce new genomic tools to primary care, but rather to transform the field by altering the way that healthcare systems, primary care clinicians, and patients make more informed choices about how to best implement these advanced disease prevention and treatment modalities,” said Asaf Bitton, MD, MPH, Ariadne Labs Executive Director. “By expanding the reach of precision medicine into primary care, and working through some key implementation challenges we have identified, we can build solutions that will benefit diverse populations, making precision medicine more accessible to everyone, everywhere.”
One of the Precision Population Health initiative’s first projects will be supporting Beaumont Health, Michigan’s largest healthcare system, to initially assess the opportunities and challenges in implementing genomics and precision medicine to benefit its patients served by three of its hospitals. “We are excited to be collaborating on this important Precision Population Health initiative. Genomics and precision medicine leveraged in this way has the potential to fundamentally change the way we approach disease management across our entire population and improve the lives of our patients” said Sanjeev Aggarwal, MD, MBA, Beaumont Health Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery and Clinical Innovation Officer.
About Ariadne Labs:
Ariadne Labs is a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. We develop simple, scalable solutions that dramatically improve the delivery of health care at critical moments to save lives and reduce suffering. Our vision is for health systems to deliver the best possible care for every patient, everywhere, every time. Visit ariadnelabs.org to learn more and covid19.ariadnelabs.org to learn about Ariadne Labs’ response to COVID-19.
The G2P research program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Broad Institute and Harvard Medical School has received more than $52 million in NIH awards to explore the medical, behavioral and economic outcomes of integrating genomic information into medicine and society at large. Building upon over a decade of clinical research, leaders of G2P launched a new Preventive Genomics Clinic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital last year, which provides innovative screening and cutting edge genomic information for healthy adults in order to predict and potentially prevent the onset of disease. Guided by G2P’s clinical research evidence base and experience implementing preventive genomics into clinical practice, we envision expanding together to deliver Precision Population Health to primary care everywhere.
Media Contact: Brigid Tsai, firstname.lastname@example.org