Today, data is what drives critical insight and innovation in modern healthcare. Challenges in the data acquisition process are largely driven by cost, time and enabling broad participant access. Providers and payers seek tools to acquire data to help inform basic research, enable drug discovery and to diagnose and treat patients in the most efficient and accurate ways possible. Genetics plays a key role in healthcare, not only for patient diagnosis and treatment, but also for fundamental scientific research. With a database of genetic information from customers who are not just curious about their health but who have also consented to participate in research, 23andMe is in a great position to uncover new genetic insights, which may help inform a precision medicine approach to research and healthcare.
23andMe studies how genetic differences between individuals might impact health outcomes. But genetics is just one factor – environment, lifestyle and family history also contribute to health outcomes. Gathering additional types of data along with genetic information offers the potential to better understand the impact these different factors may have on an individual over time. 23andMe is teaming up with ixlayer’s services and has launched a project to explore how DNA variants may influence metabolic health. This study will include customers who’ve consented to research, have something unique in their genome, and who have agreed to be recontacted by 23andMe researchers. Combining participants’ genetic information with additional details of their family history, physical assessments, lifestyle habits and blood test results has the potential to unlock new insights into how genetic variation may contribute to the likelihood of developing certain conditions. Such knowledge can help improve scientific understanding and may provide additional information for the future development of potential treatments or interventions.
Sometimes, research scientists are interested in studying a rare or unique condition. They may also want to better understand the potential contribution of a genetic variant that is uncommon in the general population. Maximizing the enrollment for research studies like these is key to generating more meaningful results. Despite researchers’ best efforts, many projects include unseen barriers to participation – which may be felt more strongly by participants from underrepresented groups. Logistical challenges like arranging transportation, taking time off work, paying for parking, finding child care, and more may prevent a representative population from participating in a research study. ixlayer is helping to remove some of these barriers by enabling 23andMe to bring the testing needed for research directly to interested participants’ homes.
For this project, ixlayer’s platform enables participants to schedule a mobile phlebotomy visit to their home, work, or school to collect samples at a time that’s convenient for them. It might seem like a small detail but removing barriers and simplifying the sample collection process for health tests could make a meaningful difference in the number – and diversity – of people who are able to participate in research.
The ixlayer platform and ecosystem work behind the scenes to connect payer, health system, biopharma, and retail partners with CLIA Certified and CAP Accredited clinical laboratories. This enables our collaborators to power over 1,000 clinical tests from blood, urine, and saliva samples.
We also understand that ensuring a superior user experience is critical for our collaborators. ixlayer’s white-labeled platform and tests deliver a consumer-friendly testing experience from the comfort of home, with easy-to-understand content and a highly secure, supported customer experience.
To learn more about our collaboration with 23andMe on this innovative research project, please contact us.
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