Biomarker Database and Health Conditions Covered
Specific disease categories create different types of clinical and financial implications for patients, physicians, and payers. Today, the healthcare data-driven ecosystem is having a direct impact on each of the following disease categories:
- Common, chronic diseases
- Rare and ultra-rare diseases
Prognos Health’s clinical expertise and our prognosFACTOR™ platform focus on those conditions that not only burden the cost of healthcare, but cause millions of people to experience prolonged pain and suffering. In our mission to help people everywhere to live life to their fullest, we cover everything from endemic conditions to those rare diseases that often have a frustrating long time to diagnosis.
Making an impact on common and chronic disease management
These conditions are widely prevalent, impact a large percentage of the population, and typically require prescription therapies that are relatively affordable compared to some other disease categories. In general, many prevalent chronic conditions can be appropriately managed with a low cost of care when patient adherence to therapy (and healthy lifestyle choices) can be maximized.
However, chronic conditions are on the rise in the United States. According to the CMS, spending is expected to continue to grow at an average of 5.5%/year through 2025, and the treatment of chronic disease will dominate those expenditures. Chronic diseases can incur very high, long-term medical costs, especially for patients with poor adherence to therapy. Such costs are associated with increased spend on additional hospitalization and other medical interventions, potential loss of limbs and vision, liver failure, heart failure, and more associated with many progressive chronic conditions. The ability to identify at-risk patients by analyzing lab-testing data, and inform physicians and payers in a timely manner is critical as they strive to improve patient outcomes.
prognosFACTOR’s registry incorporates aggregated, longitudinal clinical laboratory testing information, which is one of the main drivers of decision making by physicians to inform patient care and prescribing. The results of these tests provide key insights into the presence of a disease or health condition, whether that disease or condition is being well managed or if there is risk of the patient getting worse without appropriate medical intervention.
Blood tests are used to identify or confirm that a patient is suffering from conditions such as dyslipidemia, diabetes, HIV, and hepatitis C.
Patients with high cholesterol or diabetes are monitored at regular intervals so physicians can determine the most appropriate time is to start therapy or if the disease is uncontrolled and a new treatment regimen is warranted.
Deciding on Treatment
For some broad conditions, the type of treatment that is most appropriate depends on the characteristics of the disease that can only be identified through lab testing; examples include allergic or eosinophilic asthma.
Data-Driven Advances in Oncology
Ongoing advances in cancer care continue to place greater emphasis on targeted oncology therapy options that are specifically approved for use only in patients who demonstrate the presence or absence of a given biomarker in accordance with the approved label indication. For some cancer patients, treatment costs can be relatively low. For others, the use of advanced therapies such as specialty biologics and advanced immunotherapy options can engender very high costs.
Advanced modeling and data-analytics techniques, such as machine learning and AI, are at the forefront of developments that can help physicians and payers to identify and track patients, and to better match their biomarker status, with prescribed treatment regimen.Adam Petranovich, Chief Data Scientist, Prognos Health
Prognos has strong experience and clinical expertise in understanding testing and trends for oncology conditions. Lab testing is extremely important and used frequently by oncologists, hematologists, and other specialists to make more informed treatment decisions.
Lab testing of blood or biopsy samples plays a large role in diagnosing cancer and monitoring its progression. In fact, some of our lab partners specialize in quickly confirming if a sample is malignant before further testing of the sample is done. For example, lab testing is used as confirmation of melanoma from a skin sample. Blood and bone marrow sample testing is done to diagnose different types of leukemia. These are just some examples of this dynamic and emerging field.
For some tumor types, oncologists and other specialists treating cancer patients will regularly test them – typically using blood tests – to understand the current state of a patient’s condition and monitor for progression or relapse, including progression tracking by testing a prostate cancer patient’s PSA doubling times or confirming control or identifying a relapse of multiple myeloma using m-protein tests.
Deciding on Treatment
Physicians use laboratory testing to identify which treatments would be most appropriate in oncology given there are targeted therapies available based upon characteristics of a patient’s tumor(s). For some tumor types, physicians may test for multiple gene mutations because there are different targeted therapies available as potential treatment options. For example, testing of non-small cell lung cancer patient biopsy or blood samples for ALK, EGFR, BRAF, and ROS-1 gene mutations and PD-L1 expression is carried out to learn if a patient is eligible for targeted therapies. Oncologists test to see if acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patient’s cancer has FLT3, IDH1, or IDH2 gene mutations to determine which treatments are appropriate.
Shortening the Patient Journey for Rare and Ultra-rare diseases
Lab testing is also carried out to screen for some rare diseases, and this can begin before birth, or for infants with certain conditions or in certain high-risk populations. For some patients, diagnosis for rare and ultra-rare diseases is a long and complicated road. Lab testing is one of the most commonly used tools to rule out or confirm a rare disease diagnosis. For companies in the challenging fight against rare disease, accelerating a patient’s diagnosis is paramount, so that the appropriate therapy option (if available) can be initiated.
The challenge is creating better awareness of symptoms, which can vary greatly from patient to patient. With critical lab-testing-derived indicators revealed in solutions from Prognos, our industry leading clients are working to help healthcare providers (HCPs) identify those symptoms — as well as the available options to treat them — earlier in the patient journey.Jason Bhan, Chief Medical Officer, Prognos Health
Patients suspected of suffering from Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD) are typically given blood tests that identify their Alpha-1 genotype and the type of level of their Alpha-1 protein; Physicians will test for SMN1 and SMN2 mutations for patients they think may be suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).