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The Physician Bulletin, Interview

June 2020 | ISSUE 6

JUNE, IN THE SPOTLIGHT



iGenomeDx in the Forefront of COVID-19 Testing

Full Interview

iGenomeDx is a Gold Sponsor of the Bexar County Medical Society and has been serving the city of San Antonio for the past 4 years with their full spectrum molecular diagnostics services including required COVID-19 tests.

On May 8th, 2020, I had the privilege of an interview with Dr. Niti Vanee, one of the founders and directors of iGenomeDx. Dr. Vanee gave me a detailed look into iGenomeDx and the services offered to our Physician members.

Dr. Vanee, what motivated you to start iGenomeDx.

I was always keen on applying my scientific learnings towards the betterment of the community. With expertise in Genomics, I could apply those research lessons to help create an individualized approach to medicine. The mission of iGenomeDx has allowed me to merge research and medicine in a way that serves the healthcare community in San Antonio and beyond.

So, give some details on iGenomeDx and how it all started.

We wanted to bring our expertise in genomics, molecular biology, microbiology and immunology together to see what role we can play in promoting precision medicine. In 2016, we founded iGenomeDx Inc. to bring molecular diagnostics services to the physicians in the San Antonio and south Texas area. Using cutting edge technology and state of the art techniques, our team is passionate about providing accurate, fast and actionable genetic results to help make precision Medicine a reality for patients and providers in the Alamo Region.

We are centrally located in the South Texas Medical Center, and currently our laboratory specializes in genetic tests, i.e. pharmacogenomics and infectious diseases including Respiratory, Gastro, STI and UTI.

How did you come up with the name?

The name signifies our goal to facilitate individualized medicine (“I”) by studying genes and genome (“Genome”) through various diagnostic (“Dx”) processes. That said together we gave our company its name as iGenomeDx.

As founders and directors what is your academic background.

I have a Ph.D. in Integrative Life Sciences with research focus on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond Virginia. Further, I pursued certification in Clinical and Translational Research NCATS - National Institutes of Health.

Currently, while I am the co-founder and CEO (honor.) I am also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at School of Nursing UT Health San Antonio. I co-teach Informatics in Healthcare to Doctoral Nursing Students.

My partner and COO, Dr. Pramod Mishra is a UT Health San Antonio’s alumnus where he pursued his Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology. Before iGenomeDx, he was Assistant Professor of Research at UT San Antonio and Adjunct Faculty at UIW.

Are there any specific bullet points that are physician members should know about? How about:

· We had our RT-PCR-based COVID-19 test validated on March 27th.

· We submitted our EUA to FDA based on CDC protocols (EUA pending)

· We were among the very initial set of labs listed on FDA, Texas DSHS and San Antonio Metro Health for COVID-19 testing.

· I was invited to join the San Antonio Metro Health COVID-19 Testing Task Force Committee on March 31, 2020.

Besides these, we have

· Shorter turnaround time for test results and that includes 24-48 hours for COVID-19 reports as well.

· Most Comprehensive panels

· Consultation with scientists

· Customizable testing due to our scientific expertise.

Has iGenomeDx any new or innovative services for 2020?

Yes, to help our telehealth Physicians we have recently implemented Mobile Phlebotomist services. Let me explain how it works. Once our physician partner completes their telehealth consultation with their patients and they think the patient needs to be tested for one of our services, they fax the signed orders to our laboratory. Our phlebotomist then calls these patients and schedules a specimen collection from their convenient location so that they do not have to go against lockdown and at the same time, the samples are collected by an expert reducing any possibility of false negatives. Hopefully, this can help both physicians and their patients with the growing healthcare needs for a healthier tomorrow.

What is the best way for our physician members to contact you?

Email: info@iGenomeDx.com or call us directly at 210.257.6973.

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