Genealogy announced a groundbreaking partnership with Pulse Active Stations (funded by YCombinator) to advance further research on preventing genetic diseases among the Indian population and Pulse’s half a million users.
NEW YORK, NY, May 13, 2021 — In early May, Genealogy Inc. co-founder and CEO Andrew Chi met with Joginder Tanikella, CEO of India’s Pulse Active Stations to sign an unprecedented partnership deal aimed at finding high-risk disease indicators in the Indian population and furthering genetic research of its many ethnic groups.
Pulse, funded by YCombinator and ASICS Ventures, established the partnership with Genealogy through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which promotes investment cooperation between nations. The deal will allow Genealogy to access the genomic data of consenting participants, which Pulse collected as a part of their current research efforts.
Presently, Pulse Active Stations boasts 150 research stations across India, with its headquarters in Hyderabad. Their genetic testing services are focused on finding risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, which are the leading causes of death in the country. However, there is still very little genetic research on the Indian population and its many sub-ethnicities.
India is the second most populated country, and home to one of the most diverse populations on the planet. The country hosts over two thousand unique ethnic groups, making it one of the most interesting yet challenging regions to conduct genetic research.
The majority of the research available today, which is primarily based on consumer testing and public databases, is highly euro-centric. In fact, a recent analysis of several genome-wide association studies (GWAS) reveals that a surprising number of participants were of European descent. Around 78% of the data available in these studies is European, while Asian data makes up just 10%.
Genomic research has hit a plateau in consumer testing, especially regarding the diversity of the data collected. Very few DNA testing companies possess data on Indian, African, or Southeast Asian ethnicities.
In contrast, Genealogy is a U.S. company with a presence in Korea and access to a large population of untested Asian ethnicities. With their new partnership, Genealogy seeks to expand research beyond Eurocentric data and analyze genetic risk factors from the Indian people and all their various ethnicities.
Genealogy has developed a one-of-a-kind genomic analysis pipeline known as the “Genealogy Care” platform. This precision healthcare service is a comprehensive genetic service that uses cutting-edge technology to analyze DNA with an applaudable accuracy of 98.58%. It also provides users with personalized healthcare solutions and a detailed genetic evaluation. Unlike other services, this technology can sequence the entire genome, predicting 10,000,000 SNPs by utilizing AI technology.
The innovative genetic testing pipeline has been dubbed “PREDICTion®,” coupled with “PRomiSe®.” PREDICTion® utilizes deep learning to impute the whole genome from SNP data. At the same time, PRomiSe® produces a Polygenic Risk Score by analyzing the entire genome and calculating a score based on a comprehensive list of genetic risks. They offer this service through saliva testing and do not require any blood or tissue samples.
These proprietary technologies, described in Nature Communications and the AJHG, have been in development for the past four years and will allow Genealogy to analyze the genetic data of nearly half a million patients in India, provided by Pulse.
In order to actively collect their user’s data, Pulse has established a country-wide network of IoT-based smart kiosks that are known as “Pulse Active Stations.” Each of these kiosks can generate a report of over 21 body parameters and risk indicators for 12 lifestyle diseases. These kiosks are strategically placed in malls, hospitals, and other high-traffic areas and offer immediate results.
Genealogy will analyze the genomic and biometric data of 4,500 Pulse users who are the top 1% most at risk of developing genetic disorders by the end of 2021. These users will receive a personalized polygenic risk score based on 117 complex diseases. The analysis will look at a range of information such as age and environmental factors and present users with a customized health plan that they can adopt to prevent diseases and genetic conditions proactively.
The overall goal of the partnership is to bolster the underserved Indian healthcare market and better understand the disease risk of the diverse Indian population. With this effort, Genealogy and Pulse plan to give their users actionable plans for prevention and ultimately bring more accessible and complete preventative care to the entire Indian population.
The Genealogy platform aims to provide consumers with more accurate and affordable in-home testing options to screen for and prevent fatal diseases using genomic data. The precision healthcare platform will launch in the U.S. later this year.
Genealogy is a Bioinformatics and Computational Genetics startup headquartered in the U.S. with locations in South Korea. They are focused on developing novel machine learning and deep learning algorithms to better analyze DNA, identify potential genetic disorders, and provide users with valuable health insights. They were recently recognized as an “Impact Maker” by the 2020 United Nations’ UNDP.
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