One thinks of Invitae as a leading genetic testing company that has worked to improve clinical quality while bringing prices down. And they are, and they have. But after listening to today's show, you will see that their vision is bigger than that.
Farid Vij is the President and General Manager of Data at Invitae. A year ago Invitae bought a company he co-founded called Ciitizen which was focused on providing patients with access to their complete medical records.
"When we think of Invitae, we think of genetic testing, and if you go back to when Invitae first started, it was very much about democratizing genetic testing. But it was always in service of how do we make sure the information that comes from your genetic test can actually be put back in your hands as a patient and those that are taking care of you in order to be able to inform that next step of your care. That remains the vision today."
Having opened up a patient portal several years ago, Invitae is now engaging with patients with a new "genome management" platform based on Ciitizen's product, says Farid. In today's interview, he compares the platform to a financial consumer's bank account. Just as a bank is concerned with how a consumer receives their money, how they organize their money, and how they spend or share their money, so too Invitae is concerned with these three processes with patient data. How does a patient receive their data, how do they organize it, and how do they share it?
"Here's the difference, though, today, there is no scenario where the bank makes decisions for you. You're the one who has control of that account. The banks have built the infrastructure. And it all happens behind the scenes. It's not something you and I worry about it. But that infrastructure doesn't exist in healthcare today. That's what we're building."
Farid clarifies that he doesn't think healthcare is going completely virtual, of course, but he presents a strong vision for how much more control we patients can have over our data. Invitae is already testing this out in the area of rare diseases where it is not just about giving results and being over and done with a patient but staying engaged in an ongoing way with the patients and their communities.
How has the pandemic brought us closer to this vision? Where is the platform today? How will this change the future of clinical trials?
Ultimately, Farid says, the biggest mistake any provider makes is putting layers between them and their patients.