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TVB “Innovation GPS” Interview with Founders of GemVCare: Big Data Empowers Genetic Testing to Achieve Precision Medicine of Diabetes 



Juliana C.N. Chan

Present Academic Position

•Chair Professor, Department of Medicine & Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK 

•Director, Hong Kong Institute of Diabetes and Obesity 

•Chief Executive Officer (pro-bono), Asia Diabetes Foundation 

•Convener, The Lancet Commission on Diabetes 

MA Ching Wan, Ronald

​Present Academic Position

•Professor, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK 

•Head, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK 

•Steering Committee, Hong Kong Institute of Diabetes and Obesity 

The Role of Genetic Testing

Professor Juliana C.N. Chan pointed out in the interview that general tests for diagnosing diabetes is to undergo blood test for fasting blood glucose, or 2 hours glucose after a glucose drink, or glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) which is your average blood glucose level in 3 months. All these tests indicate how much sugar the body is covered. But when this kind of high blood glucose situation is found, it reflects that there are already some issues in your body. Meanwhile, genetic testing can predict the possibility of diabetes much earlier. 

How Genetic Testing Helps Patient with Diabetes? 

Professor MA Ching Wan, Ronald pointed out that in traditional sense, people may think that all type 2 diabetes are almost the same and the treatment methods are similar. But recently many medical research results have showed that patients with type 2 diabetes would have different symptoms. Sometimes even patients with type 1 diabetes will be misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes. 


Therefore, we need to collect the genetic and clinical data from patients to study the symptom differences of each patient for accurate classification. For treatment, these genetic data can also be used to predict the risk of developing complications. For example, some patients may have a higher risk of developing kidney disease and need dialysis, so corresponding treatment can be determined at early stage. 

Ultimate Goal of Big Data: Undersatnd the Cause of Disease & Determine Precision Treatment 

Professor Juliana C.N. Chan pointed out the research purpose is to prevent and control diabetes to reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization and premature death. The ultimate philosophy is to transform these clinical data into technology and services to benefit more citizens. At the same time, Professor Chan also emphasized that the concept of big data is to understand the cause of disease through genetic testing and to correct it through drugs, and cure the disease as a result. 

After years of research, the university team discovered nearly 100 genetic markers that can predict diabetes in Asians and obtained relevant patents. At present, genetic testing is available in hospitals and clinics to help the public know whether they are potentially high-risk people with diabetes as early as possible. 

GemVCare also provides related genetic testing services. Through rigorous testing and evaluation of genes, biomarkers and health risk factors, we accurately understand your health status to assist you and the medical professional in every decision in diabetes prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care.

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