Pharmacogenomics | Smart Health Innovation Lab

How Pharmacogenomics Fits Healthcare Workflows: Q&A with OneOme

In March 2019, OneOme joined us as the third company to participate in the Smart Health Innovation Lab’s Certification program. From the start, we recognized OneOme’s potential to leverage pharmacogenomics to reduce costs, decrease the burden on providers, improve population health, and create better patient experiences and outcomes.

Co-founded by Mayo Clinic, OneOme offers a pharmacogenomic (PGx) solution utilizing its RightMed® test, which analyzes a patient’s genes to help predict how certain medications may work for him or her. With this information, healthcare providers can make more informed prescription decisions, reducing the risk of adverse reactions and medication therapy failure.

Fast Company named OneOme one of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2018 (#2 in biotech; #22 overall), while Inc. declared it one of the five “biggest game-changing innovations in 2018.”

I spoke with OneOme’s Chief Technology Officer, Jason Ross, about what the company has been learning in the Innovation Lab and what’s next as they expand their overall RightMed solution to support PGx at the population level.

Why did OneOme choose to participate in the Smart Health Certification Program?

At the core, it offered a unique opportunity to understand the different perspectives of payor and provider organizations. The Smart Health Certification Program gave us unfettered access to experts with different backgrounds at various levels within insurers and health systems, allowing us to validate our assumptions about organization needs, optimal workflows and how to deliver value. Without this type of open collaborative environment, it would take six months to a year to gain the same level of knowledge and understanding that we’ll get here in 12 weeks.

As we evolve our offering beyond pharmacogenomic testing for individuals to a solution for the health of large populations, this perspective has been critical. One of our goals for the program was understanding how pharmacogenomics, in particular RightMed, can be applied as part of new payment models for value-based care. We wanted to know what tools and processes are needed to create an end-to-end solution that will work for payors and health systems. This program gave us the opportunity to do so.

What have you gained so far from working with the Innovation Lab?

Much of the learning so far has been about understanding how our RightMed solution can meet the needs of both providers and payors. It was eye-opening to learn how varied the success metrics for each group are. It’s raised some interesting questions: What is the appropriate workflow and who are the champions? How do we demonstrate value? How do we pilot our solution in a way that gets it closer to payors’ and providers’ ideal, operationalized workflows?

For instance, on the payor side, we’ve had several conversations about pricing. Traditionally, innovative products might not be covered by insurance, so how do we make coverage work so patients can access the benefits of PGx and payors feel they’re getting value out of it? Learning how payors think about policy management, policy development, and reimbursement has been hugely beneficial.

On the provider side, we wanted to know how a product like RightMed best fits within a health system. We’ve met with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health (LG Health)’s pharmacy program, traditional healthcare program, and their ACO groups to figure out how RightMed can be applied at the population health level, as well as how to operationalize it.

How do you think this program will impact OneOme’s roadmap? What do you hope to gain after graduation?

We have spent our time thus far learning, testing, and validating assumptions, and we now have a better understanding of workflows and who the champions are for both payors and health systems. At the end of these 12 weeks, we aim to have proven our ability to operationalize RightMed for large populations and walk out with a clear value statement.

Our next step is taking what we’ve learned with Capital BlueCross and LG Health and applying those learnings to other similar healthcare systems and payors.

How do you hope to change healthcare for the better?

Right now, trial and error remains the predominant method for prescribing medications. Roughly half of prescribed medications don’t work as intended. Sometimes the therapy fails. Other times they cause new issues for patients. When that happens, we reach a point where prescription medication costs more in healthcare utilization than it saves.

With pharmacogenomics, we know a lot more about how the body and medications interact, especially in relation to medications for chronic disease. Knowing that we can do better — both in terms of helping patients get medications that are more likely to work for them and reducing the likelihood of harm through adverse reactions — was the impetus for OneOme.

Beyond the RightMed test, OneOme offers a clinical decision support tool that gives prescribers the information they need to help prescribe medications that are most likely to work well for their patients, based on individuals’ DNA. This not only helps patients get more personalized medications, it also stands to help address the estimated $200 billion the U.S. spends on unnecessary or inappropriate prescription drugs every year.

Making an Impact in Healthcare
I had an opportunity to discuss OneOme’s work in the Smart Health Innovation Lab’s Certification Program with Dr. Chambers, CMO for Capital BlueCross, and she summed it up perfectly: “The future of healthcare is being driven by innovative companies like OneOme. What they are bringing to healthcare through pharmacogenomics is incredibly promising. Their work will likely change the way medications are prescribed and lead to better health outcomes. We are thrilled to have OneOme as part of the Smart Health Certification Program and look forward to seeing them help to transform healthcare.”

The Smart Health Innovation Lab believes our continued work with innovative companies like OneOme offers great promise to the future of healthcare.