Residents of the Coachella Valley may have noticed a familiar face earlier this month on News Channel 3 as Peter Daut spoke with HALO Precision Diagnostics’™ chief medical officer, Dr. John Feller about the newly launched HALO Way™.
HALO’s passion for personalized healthcare and dedication to the early detection of disease and cancer has made way for the HALO Experience™, a convenient one-stop-shop for patients and physicians seeking cancer and disease risk assessment, and healthcare solutions. Dr. Feller dives into detail in the interview below.
Peter Daut (PD): A new Coachella Valley company is using state of the art technology to help save lives with early disease detection. HALO Diagnostics promises rapid and precise results for patients. I spoke today with the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. John Feller.
Dr. Feller, first off, for folks that aren’t familiar with HALO Diagnostics, what is it and why is it so significant?
Dr. John Feller (JF): So HALO Diagnostics’ mission is: Saving Lives with Precision Diagnostics. Think of an outpatient imaging centers where you used to go get a MRI or CAT scan, but in addition now we also get genetic testing and other molecular testing and combine those things together with a big push towards earlier detection of cancer and cardiovascular disease and dementia so that we can treat patients much earlier in the natural history of their disease with minimally invasive therapies.
PD: So can this help save lives?
JF: Absolutely! If you look at the 5 most common cancers, there’s about an 80% improvement in survival with early detection. If you look at prostate cancer, the 5-year survival is 99% when you pick it up early. If there is a delay in diagnosis, that survival goes down to 26%. So the time to diagnosis and the time to treatment is significantly reduced with the HALO Way which helps to save lives.
PD: And how does it work?
JF: So a patient comes in typically for an MRI, say of their prostate because they’re screening to see if their PSAs elevated, and then we have a kit. And in this kit, they spit into a tube and pee into a cup and we combine the genetic information that we get from the saliva sample and the exosome data we get from the urine sample with the MRI data, and that allows up to provide personalized precision healthcare instead of what is called population-based healthcare- in otherwards, instead of treating a man who’s newly diagnosed with prostate cancer like the other 200,000 men diagnosed this year, we treat him in the context of his own genetics, his own genomics, with very personalized, very precise healthcare.
PD: It’s amazing how much you can discover just on saliva and urine!
JF: Absolutely! I mean, these are game changers. Millenia ago, Hippocrates the father of medicine predicted this. He said, “its more important to understand what sort of person has a disease than it is to understand what disease a person has.” And the genetic testing, these additional biomarkers that we get with the HALO Way and with the HALO Pathway through our kit allow us to get that information to take the information that was just typically on the imaging and really deliver personalized therapies. So we say precision diagnosis drives precision therapy.
PD: And I understand this is the first type of company like this in the entire Coachella Valley?
JF: Not just tin the Coachella valley, but probably world-wide, but this is not something we are new at. Desert Medical Imaging was the imaging center business here in the desert that I started 26 years ago, we’ve actually been working on this for about 14 years. So we have a lot of follow up actually in the patients in the last 14 years and its clear to me that patients are ready for this, referring doctors are ready for it, and we are making some real good headway getting the insurance companies and the payors to come around to this as well.
PD: That was going to be my next question- how much does this cost?
JF: For example, our prostate cancer precision diagnostic pathway, about 80-90% of the testing is covered by insurance. A small component, which is some of the newer things that we offer with the HALO Way is still a cash-pay offering. But we are talking about components that are hundreds of dollars, not thousands of dollars to add those on to what we are currently doing.
PD: Anything else you would like to say Dr. Feller before we let you go? And if folks would like more information, how do they contact you?
JF: Well I would just like to say that part of the HALO Way is the HALO Experience, you know, for the patient. Instead of having to go to an imaging center and multiple labs to get this all put together, it’s one-stop-shop. You show up at a HALO center and the HALO Experience ensures that all of this is done at one point of care with this kit and the imaging that is there. If you want to reach us and have questions, our website is www.HALODx.com, or you can reach out directly to our main office in Indian Wells at 760-776-8989.
PD: HALODx.com. Dr. Feller we appreciate your time. Thanks for joining us.
JF: You are most welcome. Thank you.
About HALO Diagnostics
HALO Diagnostics is the leader in early disease detection using precision diagnostics. The company’s outpatient Precision Diagnostic Centers are reshaping the healthcare ecosystem by integrating advanced imaging, digital pathology, molecular genomics, and predictive analytics under one roof, in a lower-cost, outpatient setting. HALO makes early-stage disease screening and diagnosis faster and more convenient for patients and physicians alike. With a HALO PathWay™ for breast, prostate, neuro, and cardiac disease, HALO is increasing early disease detection and saving lives. HALO currently serves one million patients, a number expected to triple by 2024.