HealthPartners, Helix Enter Minnesota Population Health Partnership

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Consumer-governed, non-profit integrated health system and insurance provider HealthPartners and population genomics company Helix have entered a partnership that will look to provide health insights as many as 100,000 people in Minnesota via a genomic testing program that merges these data with electronic health records.

Dubbed the myGenetics program, the genomic data generated will be merged with individuals’ electronic health records with the aim of allowing HealthPartners to identify patients at risk of developing health conditions allowing them to take early, preventive measure to help mitigate the development of serious diseases.

“We see population genomics as a critical step in our efforts to improve the health of the communities we serve across Minnesota and surrounding states,” said Steve Connelly, M.D., co-executive medical director of HealthPartners in a press release. “By understanding the role genetics play in an individual’s health, we can deliver more personalized care and improve the lives of our patients.”

According to the companies, similar population health programs have found disease risk in roughly 1-in-75 people tested, of which 90% would not have been uncovered via other health assessment tools.

The program will be voluntary for HealthPartners members, which dubs itself as the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the US, said the new program aligns with it goal of providing simpler, more personalized, and affordable healthcare. The myGenetics program is also expected to help advance precision medicine, while addressing issues of health equity.

Under the partnership, myGenetics will deploy Helix’s Sequence Once, Query Often model a unique, end-to-end genomic testing and analysis platform, which allows for patients to access their own genetic data while simultaneously aiding population health and precision medicine research.

In September last year, Helix entered a similar partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina, called In Our DNA SC, the program which also has a goal of enrolling 100,000 participants will have an initial focus on providing actionable insights in cancer and cardiovascular disease. Helix has actively sought out partnerships leveraging its technology platform and has also helped launched programs as Renown Health and the Mayo Clinic.

Of the newest partnership, Helix Co-founder and CEO James Lu, M.D., Ph.D. said: “We are excited to enable population access to preventable and actionable genetic insights and to empower providers and patients to make more informed medical decisions. The partnership will also generate cutting edge insights on the best ways to improve quality outcomes, close care gaps and lower the cost of care.”

Health Partners is an integrated health system, providing care to more than one million patients and coverage to more than 1.8 million medical and dental health plan members nationwide. HealthPartners also provides medical education and conducts research through its HealthPartners Institute.

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