Athenahealth enhances physician decision support with genomics

Ambulatory software vendor athenahealth now is offering physicians the ability to have genomics decision support at their fingertips when working in the electronic health records system.

Athenahealth has integrated decision support software from ActX into the EHR workflow to guide physicians on appropriate therapies that will mesh with patients’ genetic makeup, improving the odds that medications and other therapies will work, and side effects can be avoided.

“We are entering a new era in precision medicine, allowing doctors to tailor therapy based on molecular data, in this case, genomics,” says Andrew Ury, founder and CEO at ActX.

For instance, each prescription is checked for efficacy to assess if it will work with a patient’s genomics, or if a side effect could develop, or if the dosing is accurate, he adds. If an issue arises, the EHR will alert the physician.

Also See: Collaboration aims to improve cancer care with precision analysis

Genomic decision support software in EHRs also can alert physicians to the possibility of a risk of hereditary cancer or heart disease, which would warrant regular monitoring. Three percent of patients have a high risk for an actionable hereditary condition, Ury says.

With the decision support, athenahealth also can build genomic profiles of patients covering medications, risks, current health status and the risk of passing on serious diseases to children, such as cystic fibrosis, even if parents don’t have the disease but carry a variant gene, he adds.

The integrated decision support is live and available to athenahealth’s 80,000 providers, as well as future clients. Physicians and other providers can go to the app store on the athenahealth site, select ActX, view a video of the app and receive more information before deciding to buy it, says Lindsey Kempton, manager of athenahealth’s More Disruption Please innovation accelerator program.

To get the decision support embedded in an EHR, a practice registers on the athenahealth web site and the vendors will activate the service.

Patients generally pay for genetic testing, getting a test kit sent to their home, submitting a saliva sample and sending it to ActX. Physicians are alerted only if serious or actual risks are found. The cost for patients is $395.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.