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Partners HealthCare Lab, Intermountain Healthcare Unite for Breakthrough in Personalized Medicine

ATLANTA – March 1, 2010 – InterSystems Corporation, the global leader in software for connected healthcare, today announced that InterSystems Ensemble® was the software platform for the first-ever successful electronic transmission of comprehensive genetic data. The information was sent cross-country from Boston-based Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine (PCPGM) to Intermountain HealthCare in Salt Lake City, Utah. The announcement about reaching this milestone in personalized medicine came at the HIMSS10 conference.

The clinical genomic networking system, called VariantWire, used InterSystems Ensemble as the foundation of a secure data transfer hub between the PCPGM laboratory and the healthcare center. “InterSystems is very committed to the personalized medicine space and has provided us with excellent and enthusiastic support,” said Sandy Aronson, Executive Director of Information Technology at PCPGM. The Ensemble rapid integration and development platform is used by healthcare organizations worldwide for multiple initiatives including integrating systems and data repositories, building composite applications and establishing an SOA infrastructure.

Overcoming Genetic/Genomic Data Transfer Challenges

Personalized medicine is based on the concept that genetic/genomic testing can provide information about a person that can be used to tailor medical care to individual needs. The addition of a patient’s genetic variation to an electronic health record (EHR) can, for example, help guide selection of drugs to minimize side effects or help build a strategy for a more successful treatment outcome.

For this first genetic data transfer case, a man from Utah was tested at PCPGM for an inherited heart condition called hypertropic cardiomyopathy.  The results were sent via VariantWire to Intermountain where the information was added to the individual’s EHR. The test showed that the patient wasn’t at risk for the heart condition and provided additional genetic data that is now available for storage and future analysis.

The large amount and extreme complexity of the data that results from genetic testing are major challenges in the personalized medicine area. Completed genetic records are not typically provided to patients or physicians because they carry too much data to put in a paper record and many physicians would not be able to make effective use of the complicated data. “There was a huge amount of validation testing that had to be done to ensure information accuracy,” said Aronson.

Another challenge is to make the genetic data practical to use by most physicians. “We’ll take this information and work with genetics specialists to write programs and create protocols that will assist doctors,” said Stan Huff, MD, Chief Medical Informatics Officer at Intermountain. “A physician will not need to be an expert in family medicine and genetics to effectively use this information for the benefit of his or her patients—our programs will help.”

“It’s a privilege to provide the software technology that helped enable the attainment of this significant test milestone,” said Paul Grabscheid, InterSystems Vice President of Strategic Planning. “InterSystems is committed to the ongoing research and development that results in breakthroughs for information technology and we applaud PCPGM and Intermountain for this leap forward in personalized medicine.”

About InterSystems

InterSystems Corporation is a global software technology leader with headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and offices in 23 countries. InterSystems provides advanced software technologies for breakthrough applications. InterSystems CACHÉ® is a high performance object database that makes applications faster and more scalable. InterSystems Ensemble® is a seamless platform for integration and the development of connected applications. InterSystems HealthShare is a platform that enables the fastest creation of an Electronic Health Record for regional or national health information exchange. InterSystems DeepSee is software that makes it possible to embed real-time business intelligence capabilities in transactional applications for better operational decisions.

InterSystems is the world’s #1 vendor of database and integration technologies for healthcare applications. InterSystems products are used by thousands of hospitals and labs, including all 21 hospitals on the Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals as rated by U.S. News and World Report. For more information, visit

About Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine

The Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine (PCPGM), a partnership between Harvard Medical School and Partners HealthCare System (PHS), was founded in 2001 to promote genetics and genomics in research and clinical medicine.  One of the foremost centers for clinical research in the world, the center aims to change the rate of discovery of genes involved in human disease, and develop programs to help in the understanding of the roles of the large number of human genes and how changes in these genes result in predisposition to common diseases. In addition, the center strives to use this knowledge to better manage and treat the patient population served by the Partners institutions. Overall, it seeks to translate and integrate the science of genetics and genomics into medical practice.

About Intermountain Healthcare

Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of hospitals, surgery centers, doctors, clinics, and homecare & hospice providers that serves the medical needs of Utah and southeastern Idaho. Key medical services include cancer, heart, women and newborns, orthopedics, sports medicine, and more.

Editorial Contacts

Rita Shoor
Shoor & Company
(803) 699-0710

Maureen Flaherty
(617) 621-0600