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Viral Surveillance Insights

Our Top Viral Surveillance Insights in May

Scientists at Helix continue to track COVID-19 and flu through our nationwide viral surveillance efforts and have been providing this information directly to our health system executives. We’ll be posting our latest insights more regularly here, in case the information may be helpful for other healthcare leaders in formulating response efforts.  Our Top 5 Insights  … Read more

Doctor providing clinical care

How Population Genomics is Changing Clinical Care at Health Systems – 4 Takeaways

Genomic testing has been used for years as a point solution in isolated clinical care but is now increasingly viewed as a potential solution to health screening on a much larger scale. In March, James Lu, MD, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Helix, and Leslie Dockan, RN, Vice President of Primary Care and Operations at  … Read more

The Power of Forecasting in Preventing Future Pandemics

The formation of the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics (CFA) is a significant step toward ensuring that our nation has the  critical infrastructure needed to best prepare for and prevent future pandemics.   As the leading population genomics and viral surveillance company, Helix understands the powerful role that forecasting plays in guarding us against the  … Read more

Closing Care Gaps – Lessons Learned from The Healthy Nevada Project

In order to understand the underlying genetic health risks of their patient populations, more and more health systems are undertaking and utilizing population genomic screening approaches. These programs embark on the large-scale genetic screening of all-comer populations within a community that enables the use of actionable genomics insights at point of care. Evidence from these  … Read more

Physicians with Documentation Burden

Three Strategies to Reduce Documentation Burden While Implementing Population Health Programs at Your Health System

Clinician burnout has been a topic of increasing concern for health systems for many years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has both exacerbated and brought much needed attention to the problem. Although multiple factors can contribute to burnout in healthcare settings, one of the most widely agreed upon challenges is documentation burden, an issue known to  … Read more

Paving the Way to a More Equitable Future in Precision Health

Critical to the idea of precision health is the notion that a patient’s DNA can guide their clinical care. In recent years, researchers have brought us closer to this ideal by identifying genetic variants that influence how patients respond to medications. With this information, pharmacogenomic assays have been developed to help physicians screen their patients’  … Read more

How Helix rapidly scaled to provide national viral surveillance and what’s still needed in 2022

In September 2020, researchers in the UK first detected a SARS-CoV-2 variant that was more transmissible and deadly than the original strain. Later designated as the Alpha variant by the World Health Organization (WHO), the surge in cases caused by this variant led to England declaring a third national lockdown just a few months later.  … Read more

Why Post-Pandemic US Health Systems Will Look – and Act – Differently

Health systems in the U.S. have always played an important role in supporting public health, but the past two years have required them to step into a more expansive role. With the unexpected demands of an unfolding pandemic, health systems have taken leading roles educating the community about the virus, organizing large-scale viral testing sites,  … Read more

Omicron Variant Contains a “Greatest Hits” Collection of Mutations

Viral surveillance has once more proven its usefulness as researchers in South Africa alerted the world to the growing prevalence of Omicron—a new SARS-CoV-2 variant which, on November 26, was designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a Variant of Concern.1 In the short time since it was first described in South Africa in  … Read more

First Pharmacogenomics Study on COVID-19 Vaccine Reactions

  In January, Helix scientists published the first pharmacogenomics study on COVID-19 vaccine reactions, reflecting the power of collecting and combining phenotypic data with comprehensive sequencing on large populations.  Scientists surveyed more than 17,000 participants from the Helix DNA Discovery Project and Healthy Nevada Project, who had their DNA previously sequenced with the Helix Exome+  … Read more