Personalized Genetics: DTC Genetic Tests Are Hype

Three weeks ago Medcan started offering the Navigenics direct-to-consumer test coupled with a family history and a follow-up once the results are in. If you order the test directly from Navigenics you also get access to counsellors, but in a clinical setting the options to really expand and act on the relevant information become much greater.

According to Jill Davies only about 20% of those direct to Navigenics customers actually take the opportunity to follow up with the company and I found that somewhat surprising.

The false profile seems to be the fault of a software bug.

No harm was done, but the incident serves as a cautionary tale for personalised medicine. As we move towards a future in which readouts from our genomes will routinely be queried by computer systems to help doctors make important clinical decisions, similar glitches could cause prescribing errors – with patients being given drugs at the wrong dose, drugs that won’t work, or ones that could even trigger serious side effects in people with a particular genetic make-up.

  • 23andMe (Moving Forward): Interesting arguments against 23andMe.