Since the 1960s, the field of pharmacogenomics has blossomed. Researchers are daily discovering how a person’s genes and genome impact how they metabolize and react to various stimuli, including drugs and medicines. Although these discoveries have been most intensely applied to oncology, they’ve found a happy audience in children’s medicines, cardiovascular treatments, and even cures for the common cold.
The hangup for many of these fields has been the incredible cost of getting the proper genetic information to adjust a prescription or dosage suggestion on a patient by patient basis. Heretofore, getting that data has proven costly and time consuming and not for any incredible benefit to a large enough population to take off. In addition, there has been no collective database for housing all this information so that doctors can easily search diseases or conditions and find a list of the genes they need to account for when they consider prescribing medications.
However, modern developments in technology have driven down the cost significantly, leading to the increased feasibility of folding in this information into regular healthcare practices. Researchers at Avera Health are in the process of developing the GenFolio, a comprehensive searchable encyclopaedia. It’s functionality is simple: after testing a person’s genome from either a blood or saliva sample, GeneFolio produces an actionable plan for physicians to use to treat various maladies, from psychiatric disorders to cardiovascular problems.