India, 14 January 2016: A premier super specialty hospital in Kerala, Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS, Trivandrum) and MedGenome, a leading genomics-based diagnostics and research company, convened at a Round Table Meeting to announce a joint initiative to set up a Genetic CounselingCentre at KIMS Hospital, which is to function as a genetic disease identification center. Around 20 prominent clinicians attended this event. This joint effort envisages genetic testing availability for rare and common genetic/hereditary diseases that includes various types of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, eye diseases, neonatal disorders etc.
Dr. M I Sahadulla, Chairman of KIMS Healthcare group highlighted the importance of keeping pace with the changing dynamics of clinical practice by incorporating newer emerging trends and tools. He envisions the KIMS-MedGenome GC centre to play a key role in facilitating genetic testing requirements of the patients and families at the hospital and encouraging all the research oriented clinicians from the institute to come together in collaborating for research aimed at improving healthcare outcomes. Mr. Girish Mehta, CEO, MedGenome (India), highlighted MedGenome’s capabilities in Next-Generation Sequencing and genomics analytics. He welcomed all the clinicians from the institution to avail of the benefits of the diagnostics and research opportunities extended through KIMS-MedGenome GC centre.
Speakers also elaborated on various case examples where genomics had a visible impact on the patient outcomes, emergence of personalized approach to healthcare management through genomics and its impact on cost of treatments.
An open forum discussion on the use of genomics in clinical practice then ensued, wherein eminent clinicians such as Dr. Boben Thomas, Dr. Krishnan Nair, Dr. Muraleedharan Nair and Dr. Thomas Iype spoke about the need, and the progress of genomics in medicine. Dr Boben elaborated on the importance of collating Genotype and Phenotype of patients to take informed decisions in treatment, prevention, prediction and genetic counselling. He also gave examples of familial cancer studies that were undertaken in association with MedGenome, Bangalore.
Next generation sequencing technology have been rapidly evolving and has resulted in drastically reducing the costs of genetic screening which was not affordable till recently in Indian scenario. With the latest advancements, focus is also on large scale genetic studies of an investigative nature, which have the potential to reveal the genetic causative factors of various rare and common diseases and act as guide for the implementation of precision medicine.