This is going to be an important year for our field. Increasingly,  genomic testing will move to the forefront, especially in the clinical sector. We are getting closer to taking that next step,  when we will start using this technology for other areas of human health. This is a time that will require careful management. Some trends to expect are:

  • The $100 Genome: Maybe not $100, but as the price of sequencing continues its downward trend, it make sense to ask what this means for the industry in general and for consumers (patients, providers) specifically. If the underlying sequencing cost continues to drop, where does this leave us in the realm of sequencing?
  • Cloud Pipelines: As companies like DNA Nexus and Seven Bridges continue to support cloud applications, pipelines will become more of a commodity and barriers to entry will drop. 
  • Specialization: We’re gonna see more panels. Just get used to that. They’re probably going to be lab panels instead of virtual panels. I’m almost certain. I know that the cost of sequencing keeps dropping, but it’s got a long way to go before it hits zero and until then lab panels are here to stay! Remember how RNAseq was supposed to eliminate microarrays because the cost of sequencing was going to undercut arrays? It’s 2017 and that still hasn’t happened yet. I think we have to get comfortable in a world big enough for microarrays and lab panels. Just accept it.
  • Cancer (somatic) products: These have always had added complexity compared to germline, but there is an inherently large market. Now that there we’ve been at this for a while, have we gotten better enough to make it work?
  • The long ‘tale’ of new applications: Will some of these other applications finally get their time in the limelight? Methylome? What about the microbiome? Pathogens?

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