The Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) released recommendations to facilitate sharing of genetic variant data through the use of public repositories.
In a new position statement, the association outlines a series of recommendations to help achieve better diagnostic testing, treatments, and therapies, with a goal of enhancing patient care and advancing the field of precision medicine.
While various efforts to increase data sharing have been advanced over the years, much information continues to be siloed, AMP said. Despite the current availability of public databases, multiple recommendations, and calls to action, as well as some incentives to contribute to them, participation in data sharing among clinical laboratories remains low. The AMP working group of subject matter experts developed the position statement to help alleviate many of these challenges, including limited resources, ownership of data, assurance of data curation, and protection of sensitive information.
AMP said its recommendations are intended to make it easier for clinical laboratories to participate in data sharing programs to help improve collaboration and enhance patient care. AMP also emphasized the importance of sharing clinical variant data and addressing the barriers that laboratories might encounter. For example, organizations, institutions, and companies should develop data sharing policies that promote the importance of contributing data that represents the diversity of their patient populations. AMP also said clinical laboratories should use standardized test requisition forms for common data elements to help ease submission. Operators of public databases can help by establishing convenient and practical data submission processes. Finally, AMP said it urges policymakers to consider incentives for variant data sharing.