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IBM, Coriell, CareKinesis Collaborate to Enhance Medication Safety for Elderly

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – IBM today announced a collaboration with Coriell Life Sciences and CareKinesis to analyze and store genetic data from elderly patients in an effort to improve and better manage their medication regimens.

Using SoftLayer, an IBM company, the partners are launching an initiative with Program for All Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) "to enhance medication safety by better understanding how high-risk individuals respond to specific medications and drug treatments," they said in a statement. PACE cares for about 5,000 seniors.

With IBM and based on SoftLayer's cloud infrastructure, Coriell has built a scalable, cloud-based solution that stores data in Coriell's GeneVault. The data generated as part of the collaboration is shared and analyzed with physicians through CareKinesis, which calls itself a medication risk mitigation pharmacy services firm.

If a physician wants to prescribe a certain medication to an elderly patient, for example, but is concerned about how the patient may react to the drug, the PACE team can conduct a test to evaluate the patient's response. Genetic material is collected via a swab taken from the patient's cheeks and sent to Coriell for analysis. A report is then generated and sent to the ordering physician. In support of the process, CareKinesis provides pharmacotherapy recommendations.

In a statement, CareKinesis CEO Calvin Knowlton said that the initiative will allow physicians to better understand which drugs their patients will respond to, "thus reducing medication-related problems and hospital visits, while decreasing the individual's overall healthcare costs."

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.