Established more than 50 years ago, Labcorp is a leading global life sciences company with a mission to improve health and improve lives. At the heart of that mission is a deep commitment to helping all women live healthier lives, no matter their age or background.
We at Insights Care had the opportunity to speak with Labcorp Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for Labcorp Diagnostics, Marcia Eisenberg, PhD. We disussed how Labcorp’s extensive drug development and diagnostic capabilities are being used to lead the way in advancements for women’s health.
Eisenberg has spent more than 30 years with Labcorp and has played an integral role in the company’s scientific innovations, leading the evaluation, development and introduction of many new tests, diagnostic technologies and platforms. She has a history of being an industry leader in forensic DNA testing, biotechnology, molecular genetics and moleculary oncology.
She was also a key member of the team responsible for commercializing polymerase chase reaction (PCR) testing in the 1990s, which has served as the gold standard for important advances in areas like infectious disease and virology, genetics, and oncology. PCR was integral to a rapid response to COVID-19 testing in 2020.
Join us as we explore how a holistic approach, dedication to innovation, and commitment to health equity positions Labcorp as a leader in women’s health.
A Holistic Approach
Labcorp takes the long view when it comes to a woman’s continuum of care, providing not only testing but critical education, access and resources.
“We know that supporting women is critical,” Eisenberg says. “[Women] are interested in their health and make about 80% of health decisions for their extended families. This means that both educational support and comprehensive laboratory testing services are important.”
Labcorp empowers both women and their healthcare providers to understand the value of preventive care, including routine screening and diagnostic testing through a comprehensive women’s health-specific test menu. Labcorp provides an expansive portfolio of nearly 5,000 tests and performs more than 250 million women’s health tests per year. This extensive testing portfolio provides key insights into a woman’s health at every stage of her life, from regular wellness testing and hereditary cancer screening to prenatal and carrier screening.
As a leader in reproductive genetics, Labcorp Women’s Health also offers comprehensive genetic testing supported by access to the largest national network of genetic counselors. Prioritizing maternal health through its wide-ranging specialty testing services and deep diagnostics and genetics expertise, Labcorp supports OB-GYNs and primary care doctors. The organization provides essential testing, screening, educational support and clinical trial options for women, including expectant mothers.
Additionally, through its Labcorp Drug Development business, the company conducts clinical trials of new drugs, therapies and vaccines in approximately 100 countries around the world, with laboratory testing performed through its own global laboratory network, one of the world’s largest. Through its work on clinical trials and deep relationships to physicians and hospitals, Labcorp can connect women to new therapies undergoing clinical trials that may help improve outcomes.
A Dedication to Innovation
As the healthcare industry continues to accelerate the pace and scale at which it adopts new technology, Labcorp is constantly working to stay at the cutting edge.
“Our goal is to provide state-of-the-art solutions that facilitate diagnostic understanding and treatment so women can be healthy throughout their lives,” Eisenberg says. “In fact, Labcorp’s senior scientific team reviews more than 1,000 new tests and methodology opportunities each year.”
Its recent acquisition of Ovia Health is just one example of Labcorp’s commitment to innovation. Ovia Health is a leading digital platform that provides daily, personalized family health support and data feedback to guide women and families across their reproductive journeys. Ovia has helped more than 17 million families, through three apps, from menstrual cycle tracking and trying to conceive, to pregnancy and on into parenthood. Together, Labcorp and Ovia are uniquely positioned to harness the power of science and data to advance women’s health.
Other emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) allow scientists and physicians to explore improvements in diagnosis, as well as treatment options currently available. As these technologies are adopted into wider use, more groundbreaking innovations are emerging that directly impact the quality of care patients receive.
“As science advances, the wealth of data produced requires deep ML capabilities with a focus on producing clear, high-quality results—for example, in assessing hereditary risks across hundreds of genes,” says Eisenberg. “Labcorp has a long history in developing expertise in bioinformatics, and it is applied widely across our portfolio, including tests like carrier screening for inherited disease, cardiogenetics, and oncology.”
Eisenberg also mentions that AI and other modern technologies have expanded the company’s ability to educate and inform both women and their healthcare providers. As new technologies are developed, Labcorp will continue to expand its digital presence and utilization of these tools.
A Commitment to Health Equity
Labcorp provides a broad range of tools and service solutions that are designed to facilitate quality healthcare for everyone.
“Whether a woman is in a rural community, healthcare desert or urban area, Labcorp is there to provide the necessary care, education and results women need to maintain good health and help prevent health conditions, both today and in the future,” says Eisenberg. “This includes meeting the patient/consumer where they are—however they wish to access care. Some of the solutions developed to address these needs include consumer/patient-initiated testing through Labcorp OnDemand, telehealth support tools, telegenetic counseling, financial assistance programs and special processes at Patient Service Centers for women at high risk for COVID-19.”
Labcorp prioritizes convenience and ease of access for all patients with nearly 2,000 patient service centers across the U.S. including several hundred Labcorp at Walgreens locations, connectivity with 600 EMR providers, and more than 400 managed care contracts, as well as patient and medical professional portals, cost estimators and financial programs to support access to care.
Even recent acquisitions like Ovia Health facilitate opportunities to engage with under-served communities through education and support.
Words of Encouragement
Sharing her advice for budding healthcare professionals, Eisenberg says, “I would tell anyone interested in entering the healthcare industry to continue to focus on learning. The healthcare industry changes every day. New tests are introduced, drugs get approved and researchers make groundbreaking discoveries all the time. You must stay up to date and stay informed to make an impact.”