Color Open-Sources Playbook for Population Genomics Programs

BURLINGAME, Calif., Sept. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Color open-sources a playbook that provides the underlying framework for its Population Genomics Platform. The playbook is available to organizations working to build and scale population genomics programs. By open-sourcing this playbook, Color is supporting global efforts to make genetics and precision health programs accessible, convenient, and cost effective, while offering responsible clinical grade return of results to all participants.

Despite rapidly decreasing sequencing costs and growing interest in population-scale genomics, many programs have struggled to launch and scale as expected for two primary reasons.

First, many programs have been rebuilding critical components of the architecture from the ground up, including lab infrastructure, bioinformatics, clinical interpretation & reporting, as well as secure and flexible data management systems. This process often dramatically extends timelines and forces programs to incur unnecessary costs and implementation risks.

Second, there is now a clear understanding that the success of any large-scale program is driven by demonstrating ongoing value to both the healthcare system and individual participants. Beyond the infrastructure for sample handling, data generation and data storage, successful programs treat participants as true partners, make a commitment to return of results, and support an integration with clinical systems that turns data into real clinical outcomes. This is as true for a public health initiative as it is for large-scale research programs or discovery applications. Ultimately, these challenges are limiting the ability of programs to realize the promise of genomics for human health.

The Population Genomics Platform playbook is based upon Color's experience contributing to population genomics programs delivered through health systems, dozens of academic research initiatives around the world, the million-person All of Us program by the National Institutes of Health, and population health services to more than 100 leading employers.

Color's playbook provides a streamlined roadmap that can save institutions valuable time and resources. The framework consists of three key components 1) laboratory systems, 2) clinical services, and 3) participant experience. Together these elements create the foundation for population genomics programs to responsibly return clinical results to participants, integrate into clinical care, empower research, and deliver a seamless patient experience.

An integral part of Color's playbook is based on a model that supports an integrated experience while incorporating existing resources (such as current genetic counseling teams). Color has also partnered with the Broad Institute's world-class sequencing platform for provision of large-scale sequencing services. "Improving access to population-scale programs will help reduce existing inequities in our understanding of human health," said Dr. Eric S. Lander, President and Founding Director of the Broad Institute. "We strongly support efforts to make scientific tools and insights widely available, and we hope this approach will rapidly become the norm for population-scale programs."

"Through our experience implementing dozens of genomics programs in highly diverse contexts (ranging from research studies in Africa to US health systems and employers), Color has learned how to reliably launch programs that rapidly reach scale, while meeting ethical obligations and delivering on clinical and research objectives," said Othman Laraki, CEO of Color. "We are thrilled to see the creation of ambitious programs around the world and hope that the Color PGP Playbook can enable leaders of these programs to efficiently launch successful population-scale initiatives."

In concert with open sourcing its playbook, Color invites community members to provide feedback and contributions to further develop what is hoped to become a resource for the healthcare and scientific community. The playbook can be downloaded here.

About Color
Color is the leader in delivering precision healthcare through cutting-edge technology. Color makes data-driven health programs such as clinical genetics accessible, convenient, and cost-effective for everyone. Color partners with leading health systems, premier employers, and national health initiatives around the world including the million-person All of Us program by the National Institutes of Health. For more information about Color, visit

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