Last Wednesday, I woke up to a NYT article by Andrew Pollack on the “Deluge of Data” that seemingly haunts the genomics field. The very next morning, I awoke to a folder full of applications for the GenomeQuest NGS software grant for consolidated gene-panel tests.
Talk about night and day!
While it’s reasonable to question if and when core reseachers will understand the full extent of NGS data, it’s equally reasonable to get excited about applying what we know already. Simply stated, I would argue that diagnostics — specifically consolidated molecular testing (CMDx) — is a clear killer app for NGS.
No doubt, labs are aching for and advancing to CMDx today. And, no doubt, their patients are realizing undeniable and measureable rewards of faster/better/cheaper diagnostics. Moreover, a standard platform (NGS) creates a wonderfully virtuous circle for them to provide increasingly better diagnostics for more and more diseases.
When it was introduced, the Mac was an amazing technology looking for a critical mass application — then along came desktop publishing and computing history was changed forever. I think the same opportunity exists for NGS, CMDx, and healthcare.
As evidence, I offer you real world “faster/better/cheaper” excerpts from two simple questions in our grant applications:
– What are the health benefits to your patients?
– What are the business benefits to your labs and partners?
See if you tend to agree.