Three months ago,
there was a huge hubbub about genetic testing in California. In a
dramatic effort, albeit totally misguided, the California Department of
Health sent “cease and desist”
letters to multiple vendors who were offering genetic testing services
directly to the consumers. They were concerned by the cost, the
accuracy, the ability for medical professionals to interpret the
results, and the potential for harm to the consumers. However, with
many technology advances that outpace the regulatory apparatus, this
one was well ahead of its time and when the dusts settles, this type of
testing will become a normal part of your health portfolio.
This week Microsoft, Scripps Health (based in San Diego), Affymetrix and Navigenics
announced they are launching a research study to evaluate the impact of
personal genetic testing. The study will offer genetic scans to up to
10,000 employees, family and friends of Scripps Health system and will
measure changes in participants’ behaviors over a 20-year period.
Participants will be able to save a copy of their genetic information
and analysis in HealthVault, enabling them to retain it for future use
as they continue to manage their health and wellness, whether it is for
preventative or treatment purposes.
From Cease and Desist, to a public announcement from all California
based companies on a landmark longitudinal study with 10,000 people
validating the use of personal genetic information in just over three
Stylin’ and profilin’ Cali Style.