Tailored Health - Pharmacogenetics

An integrated approach to prescribing medication based on a patient’s genetics.

Project Overview

Updated March 31, 2023.

The project created a framework for technical integration and data governance for exchange of medical data in electronic medical systems to inform medication decision support. Although the project group decided not to continue with the project due to COVID-related priorities, the project generated learnings that will allow them to further work as individual organizations in this space.

The Problem

Adverse reactions to medications account for up to 12 per cent of emergency room visits and 5 per cent of hospital admissions and are estimated to claim up to 22,000 lives per year in Canada.

This is exacerbated by the approximately 20 per cent of Canadians who currently take three or more medications (polypharmacy). As the Canadian population ages, the proportion of polypharmacy patients is expected to increase and cause additional stress on healthcare budgets.

Pharmacogenetics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. Inappropriate medication prescribing is associated with adverse drug reactions, hospital admissions and mortality, which can all be reduced due to recent advances in genetic testing and translational technology.

How We Are Solving It

Led by TELUS Health in partnership with GenXys, LifeLabs, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and Genome BC, the Tailored Health – Pharmacogenetics team began to create a pharmacogenetics ecosystem by digitally connecting testing labs and medication decision support software with primary care and pharmacy management systems.

Enabled by a digitally integrated solution, this project would’ve combined an individual’s genetic makeup with their biophysical, drug and medical history, integrating clinically useful medication options into the clinical workflow through electronic medical records and pharmacy management systems.

If patients and their clinicians would have used this solution, adverse drug reactions will be reduced, and the standard of care in Canada will be improved. The ultimate goal was to provide “the right drug to the right person at the right time.”

Project Lead

  • telus@2x e1633470698185

Project Partners

  • genome@2x e1632647383283
  • dts lifelabs logo e1632882775141
  • genxys
  • emilycarr@2x 1 e1632880303927

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