Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Genomics: Another Patient Care Tool

Early findings from the MedSeq project suggest that genomic sequencing might not quite rise to the level of 'disrupting' medical practice, writes Robert Green from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School at the Huffington Post.

The project, Green notes, seeks to examine how genome sequencing will be integrated into the practice of medicine. Right now, it seems that "genomic findings simply provide more data for physicians to gather and process about their patients," he says.

Many physicians have stated that they don't feel prepared for receiving sequencing information. But, Green adds, that clinicians also weren't necessarily ready for the inclusion of CT scans into medical practice, either. He argues that physicians won't have to be experts in genetics, just as they aren't experts in chemistry lab tests or X-rays that inform how they treat their patients.

Instead, "we imagine that the physicians in the near future will quickly become skilled at using genomic information that is delivered in an understandable format by a molecular laboratory and will be able to contextualize this information to a patient's family history, medical history, and physical examination," Green writes.

So far, Green notes that some physicians in his study say that genomic data has altered their treatment plans, though many say they currently find family history to be more informative.

Still, a number of the doctors in the study say the incorporation of genomics into medicine is likely inevitable.

"I don't know when, but I'm sure sometime in the future it will become very much a part of what primary care physicians do," one of the project doctors said, according to Green. "It will be just one of the tools in their toolbox that's available for taking care of patients."