How Innovative Software Is Making Precision Medicine Possible

Exciting times lie ahead for companies in the precision medicine software market.

A market growth of 11.5% is expected by 2024. This is likely to be driven by rising government funding, partnerships among pharmaceutical and software companies, more venture capital funding and an increasing number of cancer patients.

The goal of precision medicine is to provide tailored medical treatment to patients according to their individual genetics. The approach relies on scientific breakthroughs in our understanding of how a person’s unique molecular and genetic profile can be used to optimise their future healthcare.

This approach to medicine requires a huge amount of data to be stored on each patient. One informatics company helping turn this raw data into actionable clinical results with its innovative cloud and mobile software is LifeOmic.

Recently, I spoke with the Chief Marketing Officer at LifeOmic, Justin Helmig, about this revolutionary approach to medicine and how his company are leading innovation with their software solutions.

Image: Justin Helmig

LifeOmic was founded in 2016 by serial entrepreneur Don Brown and several other key employees from Interactive Intelligence - another software and cloud computing development company started by Don that was acquired for $1.4B USD in 2016.

This was after spotting an opportunity to leverage their cloud and mobile software expertise in the healthcare market.

“There wasn't really a platform out there that truly offered people a way to build on data aggregation and analytics and pull all that together into something actionable” explained Justin.

“EMR’s have dominated in the US and internationally, but this software is old. Even their cloud hosted SaaS is not multi-tenant software. So, you're losing a lot of the benefits of the cloud. It’s not really analytics because you’re not driving insights from the data.”

LifeOmic saw an opportunity to leverage their cloud expertise: “We felt that we could offer suitable processing and storage, while also being able to aggregate with other data. Like what do other blood tests say? How much activity are you getting? Do you have a wearable device like a Fitbit or something more medically oriented like a blood glucose monitor? How does that data trend over time?”

There’s never such a thing as ‘too much data.’ After speaking with Justin, it became clear that the most important thing was to understand how to use your data to produce actionable insights.

Actionable insights are something that LifeOmic are providing in precision medicine mainly via two solutions: their Precision Health Cloud (PHC) and LIFE Mobile apps.

The PHC is a secure cloud platform that integrates and indexes disparate data sources including genomic, clinical, imaging and population data. This data is added to a searchable and flexible repository for each patient to deliver precision treatments and accelerate research. The PHC enables researchers and physicians use this data to drive better, more personalized patient outcomes.

“We feel we bring a lot of skills, expertise, technology and innovation that will impact healthcare in a very significant way. For example, you can now match patients to clinical trials ten times faster than before” said Justin.

“The PHC improves accuracy too. It enables you to make sense of all your valuable data which drives deeper analysis. You’re able to understand information that you just couldn't before because you didn't have the tools to really make sense of all your data.”

The LIFE mobile apps, LIFE Fasting and soon to be released LIFE Extend, leverage the PHC to enable individuals to manage their own health. The first iOS version of LIFE Fasting was released in May 2018 with the Android version launching later that year in December. The app has been extremely popular reaching over 600,000 users and attracting media attention from USA Today, Forbes, Inc., Prevention and Men's Health.

“We wanted to build a mobile application using our PHC to store the data and provide an analytics engine” said Justin.

To achieve this, the team picked a single use case of intermittent fasting and in Justin’s words said: “We're going to build this application, we're going to use it to test a whole lot of hypotheses. And the best way to do that is to try not to go too broad too quick.”

He then continued to say: “We wanted to test user acquisition and user engagement hypotheses. We used social networks and social interactions to drive positive behavioural change and positive interventions. And we stored this data in the Precision Health Cloud, mixed it with other data, and really delivered what we said we were going to deliver.”

We are seeing the LIFE Fasting and our upcoming holistic wellness app, LIFE Extend, support a positive trend currently happening within the US healthcare system as patients become more educated and proactive. Healthcare providers are beginning to make themselves more holistic and wellness-oriented, investing in patient populations to try and drive wellness through the community, which, in turn, could lower healthcare costs.

The innovative cloud and mobile software that companies like LifeOmic are bringing to the table right now is revolutionising healthcare and supporting an exciting move toward precision medicine. With data and software issues soon to be a thing of the past, could we see a boom in the practice of precision medicine and its surrounding markets sooner than we once thought.

Do you disagree? Are there more issues to address? Who else is an important major player providing software solutions in precision medicine? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment below.

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