Ancestry Grants $1M to Evidence-Based Clinical Resource

November 8, 2019
MHE Staff

The grant will support creating new content on UpToDate that will advise patients of their genetic test results and how to manage them by early 2020.

Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, recently announced it has made a $1 million educational grant to UpToDate, an evidence-based clinical resource, to independently develop information for healthcare providers to help them interpret and act on the results of genetic testing of their patients.

According to a news release, Margo Georgiadis, chief executive officer of Ancestry, says the grant is part of Ancestry’s long-term commitment to partnering with healthcare stakeholders to improve preventive health.

As millions of consumers choose to take DNA tests to gain greater insight into their health and wellness, healthcare providers must be prepared to have informed and meaningful conversations with their patients, helping them understand how their genes influence their health to enable them to take actionable next steps.

A recent Journal of Personalized Medicine article noted that relevant genetic knowledge among healthcare providers, including primary care physicians, lags consumer enthusiasm for genetic screens.

For practicing providers, opportunities to engage with and learn about genomic medicine may be limited. So, identifying effective strategies for provider education is critical to close the gap in physician preparedness for genetics/genomics and precision medicine, according to the journal.

Related: Better Genetic Testing Guidelines Needed to Identify More At-Risk Patients

Ancestry’s educational grant to UpToDate is designed to help fill this gap as part of their focus on partnering with the healthcare industry toward improved health outcomes, the release says.

This practice will provide practical, accessible and contemporary information to help physicians advise their patients. It is expected to be available by early 2020 on UpToDate platforms and Ancestry’s website at www.ancestry.com/health.

The initiative is called AncestryHealth, which was recently launched. It will deliver actionable insights that can empower people to take proactive steps-in collaboration with their healthcare provider-to address potential health risks identified in their genes and family health history, the release says.

“As we scale our AncestryHealth services to millions of consumers, we are committed to ensuring broad availability of educational materials to support healthcare providers who are engaging with patients about genetic risks and the proactive steps they can take to improve health outcomes,” says Georgiadis. “Ancestry’s educational grant to UpToDate is an important step to accelerate wide availability of this important information for physicians.”

Peter Bonis, MD, chief medical officer of Clinical Effectiveness at Wolters Kluwer, says Ancestry and Wolters Kluwer share a vision of supporting clinicians with evidence-based information to help them make care decisions for patients who have undergone genetic testing.

“This educational grant enables UpToDate to determine and develop new content with editorial independence, which remains a critical component of our editorial policy,” Bonis says.

UpToDate provides medical information on 11,600 topics across 25 specialties. Over 1.7 million clinicians worldwide trust UpToDate to help them improve care decisions.

The addition of genetic testing resources will provide evidence-based information to assist providers in diagnosing, treating and preventing illness.