CDC, Quest Collaborate to Better Screen, Treat and Reduce Hepatitis
Quest Diagnostics has entered into an agreement with the CDC to assist in identifying new trends in screening, diagnosing and treating multiple strains of viral hepatitis in the US, according to a press release.
The collaboration will provide researchers from the CDC with analytical expertise and access to Quest’s national testing database, which holds de-identified testing hepatitis data, according to the release. The goal of the collaboration is for the CDC to use the analytics to help improve, develop and monitor medical guidelines aimed at reducing the hepatitis burden and positively change outcomes through earlier diagnosis and treatment.
“The innovative collaboration with Quest Diagnostics will allow us to use data analytics to better monitor the implementation of CDC’s testing guidelines and progress toward reducing deaths from hepatitis,” John W. Ward, MD, director of CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis, said in the release. “Increased testing is critical to ensure that those who are infected with hepatitis receive life-saving care and treatment.”
Under the agreement, experts from Quest Diagnostics and CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis will analyze de-identified test results from the Quest Diagnostics Health Trends national database for hepatitis A, B, C and E viral infection in American adults. Analyses will include results of screening and confirmatory diagnostic tests as well as treatment-guiding genotyping and viral load tests by gender, age group, geography and type of physician, according to the release. The parties will work together in developing study designs and protocols based on Quest’s ability to identify patterns in prevalence and clinical management of patients.
“Our partnership with CDC reflects the growing value of data analytics in health care to improve decision making, both for population health and in a clinical setting,” Rick L. Pesano, MD, PhD, vice president of research and development, and medical director of infectious diseases at Quest, said in the release. “Transforming data into insights to measure and predict behaviors and outcomes will be increasingly important as the nation’s health care system moves to fill gaps in guideline-based care.”
The agreement is an expansion of a previous agreement Quest and the CDC arranged in July 2013, according to the release. Under the previous agreement, both parties analyzed the data from the same database for those born between 1945 and 1965. Under the modified agreement, both parties will also work to identify and monitor HBV and HCV trends in pregnant women.
“The right screening and medical interventions can prevent the tragedy of lifelong hepatitis-related liver disease in children born to infected mothers,” Pesano said in the release. “We’re proud to work with CDC to assess trends in hepatitis B screening in pregnant women in order to identify gaps in screening and treatment because it will yield insights that will help health professionals take actions to save people’s lives.”