I’m a big fan of the power of why, especially when it comes to thinking about our chosen career paths, and how we spend our minutes, days, hours and especially our lives. Everyone who knows me, knows I’m deeply immersed in this thing called Tute. (Yup, that startup with the funny name).
And in case you were wondering, the word Tute means “personal” in the Na’vi language of avatar (created by Paul Frommer, professor at USC, where, incidentally, my co-founder Kai Wang is on faculty as well).
“Where’s Reid?” Tute.
“Wait, Reid doesn’t practice medicine anymore?” Nope.
I’d like to share a little bit of the why behind the crusade.
Apple’s why goes something like this:
“Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently.”
And how do they do it?
“The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly.”
And the what: “We just happen to make great computers.”
People don’t buy in to what you do, they buy why you do it.
We created Tute Genomics a couple years ago to bring genome analysis to the masses, and enable personalized medicine. Why? Because our healthcare system is messed up. We all know it. In fact, a significant portion of medical advice is incorrect.
Think about it — when you receive a prescription for cholesterol, or blood pressure, or even cancer, there is a very real chance that it may be the wrong medicine for you. Or even the wrong diagnosis.
Case in point: A number of years ago a 9 year old boy was brought to his doctor with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and given a prescription for Prozac. However, unknown to his doctor, this child had a genetic variant that made him what we call a “poor metabolizer” of certain medicines, including Prozac. Up to 10% of us have this genetic mutation, and we have no idea, but when you have this variant, certain pain medicines don’t work, and some antidepressants can accumulate to dangerous levels. The FDA label for Prozac even has a warning about this. But sadly, genetic testing was not done on this child, and he died. A very young and tragic death. With the autopsy showing this genetic variant, and Prozac toxicity. Very upsetting,
Fast forward until.. well, now. To a world where your medical treatment can and should be 100% unique. Every diagnosis, treatment, drug and dietary change should be tailored to you and you alone.. When you walk into the hospital, instead of feeling like a car on an assembly line, you should be treated like the unique human being you are. The information in YOUR genome can turn ANY doctor into a specialist in YOU. All of this, thanks to one test… Genome sequencing.
Here’s the vision:
The genome revolution is here, and Tute envisions a future where genome sequencing is part of routine clinical care, with genomic data integrated into medical records where it is most useful and actionable, to give doctors and patients alike access to genomic information at their fingertips, in order to enable predictive, preventive & precision medicine.
Basically, we believe in genome-guided, precision medicine. In the power of the human genome to help us learn more about ourselves and live better, healthier lives.
We’re looking for the believers.. for the others. For the innovators and early adopters.
Here’s some background:
The cost of sequencing the human genome has dropped over a millionfold in recent years and this is literally transforming medicine. When Steve Jobs had his genome sequenced, he paid $100,000. Earlier this year, the $1000 genome was announced which is thought to be the tipping point towards widespread adoption in healthcare. It is now cheaper to sequence the entire human genome than it is to order a couple of single gene tests.
Genome sequencing has arrived. You remember the touching story of Angelina Jolie. Her aunt had died of breast cancer, so she went to her doctor to get tested (likely for ~$4000 via Myriad Genetics). Based on those results, she made a very difficult decision that people are still talking about. One of the most beautiful people alive chose health. She chose to be there for her kids, over what we call “beauty”, and underwent a double mastectomy.
Potentially life saving genetic tests have been around for a long time, but traditional single gene tests cost a lot of money, and take a long time. Plus, insurance often balks. I remember seeing a child for an autism genetics workup a couple years ago. She was about 7. Very low IQ. Didn’t speak much. Super cute, but very impaired. I sent off for a couple gene tests that I thought were most likely — Rett’s Syndrome and Fragile X. Both tests came back negative, and the bill was $6000. I could have sequenced every gene in the entire genome several times over for that price. I knew then that things had to change. Never again was I going to go painstakingly hunting for a diagnosis one gene at a time.
The whole world now is pivoting to next-generation sequencing. Including Myriad Genetics with their myRisk 25 gene panel. Genome sequencing has arrived, but the problem is that no one, until now, could make sense of this massive amount of data. That is where Tute genomics comes in.
Tute is a cloud-based software platform for healthcare & research that brings you Predictive, Preventive, & Precision medicine through genomics, using machine learning to quickly go from DNA to diagnosis & discovery.
Tute software can be used to make a genetic diagnosis, personalize treatment, quantify health & disease risk, and find new disease genes and biomarkers.
Before long, everyone will get their genome sequenced and the question is where does this massive amount of data reside, in an annotated & queryable format, to support clinical decisions, so that you and your doctor can reference the genome at every important medical question throughout your life?
To help enable this long-awaited precision medicine, we created an app called MyGene — the first-of-its-kind patient results portal for whole genomes and panels of genes, that gives doctors and patients alike access to genomic information at their fingertips, where it is the most useful and actionable.
We’re excited to have commercial agreements and partnerships across all our main verticals, so that Tute can truly power the worlds genomic knowledge through our unprecedented database and our trusted algorithms.
At Tute we are on a crusade to personalize medicine. Genomics is changing healthcare as we know it. Industries in turmoil are ripe for disruption.. and there has never been a better time to found a company to tackle healthcare’s problems. And we are asking you to join us as we help shape the future of medicine: unlocking your genome, personalizing treatment, and powering discovery.