Partnership Between Sanford and Harvard Focuses on Genetic Screening

Updated June 27, 2019

Harvard Medical School, Sanford Health, and Brigham and Women's Hospital all come together to focus on utilizing genetic screening to improve health care, according to Inforum. The collaboration, which began in February 2019, will be ongoing for four years, and it will allow primary health care facilities to offer genetic counseling and screening to patients. 

A simple drawing of blood and a $49 test called Sanford Chip, can help streamline a patient's treatment plan, helping health care providers choose the best options based on a patient's DNA. 


Sanford Imagenetics was formed in 2014, and it has allowed Sanford Health to study genetics and determine how it plays a part in developing a treatment plan that is handpicked and customized to each individual. To become eligible for the Sanford Chip DNA test, individuals must be 18 years or older, have established care with a Sanford health doctor and have a My Sanford Chart account. 

Personalized Medicine for Efficient Treatment

Personalized medicine helps to cut out the trial and error process involved in starting new medications, or adjusting the ones currently prescribed. It allows doctors to know how a patient's body processes medication and determine which ones would be most effective at treating the condition, as well as the correct dosage needed. 

Since each individual's genetic makeup differs, a medication and dosage that works for one person could be completely different for another person. 

Covered Medications

At this time, the study program focuses on the following types of medications: 

  • Antidepressants 
  • Antifungals 
  • Immunosuppressants 
  • Anticoagulants 
  • Opioids 
  • Statins
  • Fluoropyrimidines 
  • Thiopurines 
  • Antiplatelets 

The Study 

Patients who choose to receive the Sanford Chip genetic test can choose to participate in this ongoing study. Experts in genomic medicine will go over any data collected from the tests and use it to identify specific genetic risk factors to help simplify the process of prescribing medications. 

Patients who have previously taken this test before the partnership began will be contacted separately to see if they would like to participate. 

The study can also help individuals understand their chances of developing certain diseases or passing on pre-existing conditions to their children. Certain conditions the test looks for include but are not limited to: hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer, Ehlers-Danlos, Wilson disease, and familial Adenomatous polyposis. 

If it is determined that an individual does have a positive disease predisposition, the individual will be able to meet with a genetics specialist to determine the next steps to take.

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