A cancer test company incorrectly informed around 400 patients that they might have cancer, a company said, after there was a software issue with its telemedicine provider.
According to an internal company document seen by the Financial Times, 408 patients were erroneously sent letters saying the test had detected a sign in their blood potentially indicating cancer.
According to Reuters, telehealth firm PWNHealth sent out the incorrect letters accidentally due to a computer software problem. The issue has since been fixed.
The company, owned by gene sequencing company Illumina, said it promptly contacted patients after the incident. The patients’ health information had not been breached or disclosed, it said on Friday.
According to Financial Times, the mistake caused some alarm among health insurers that are testing the detection test.
The test only needs a drop of blood and has been dubbed “revolutionary and cutting edge” by British, US and Canadian health officials.
American life insurer Principal subsequently said it would review its relationship with Grail, the FT reported. MassMutual, an insurer, also announced that it was suspending its test pilot.
Cancer is still a leading cause of death worldwide despite significant advancements in treatment options, according to Nature journal.
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