DNA tests can tell us a lot about ourselves and the way that our bodies are genetically programmed to respond. It is not about ancestry and family lines anymore.
DNA testing provides answers on a range of questions about what makes us who we are. For a while now, the idea of health and fitness themed testing was something of a novelty. Fitness lovers get to learn more about the diets and regimes that suit their genetic makeup. This idea of a novelty gift for the health freak that has everything is great, but there is more to gain.
DNA testing for health fitness now works on a professional level too.
Doctors can provide DNA screening for a range of issues to help to determine risk factors and causes. We see this with DNA testing for cancer genes, especially breast cancer in women. Those with the genes and a significantly high risk of the disease often go on to have life-saving mastectomies.
Public heath services can now increase the availability of DNA testing to patients to open new doors to screening and prevention. This information then allows for personal healthcare regimes between that individual and the provider. One that is ideally tailored to the situation. It is like their personalized weight loss plan from the at-home kits, only more beneficial and clinical.
These tests are now much more accessible and affordable for general health care provision.
A fall in costs in sequencing and the availability of the tech means many patients can get a DNA test for health reasons at a fraction of the original cost. This is precisely what has happened in South Africa. Here doctors can provide an exome DNA test on all 20,000 active genes for $250. This one time cost could help to save lives and place vulnerable people on the course to better treatment.
Those that are seemingly healthy could have underlying risks. When people deal with those risks, they could perhaps avoid fatal illnesses. This can only save health care providers, even more, money down the line.
One the DNA results are in, that it is. This is a one-time solution with great potential.
With one test, the genome is quickly mapped, and the components laid bare. Users get a clear diagram that signifies the past, present, and future of critical health issues.
What is even more remarkable is that this is all still achievable with a simple saliva test. This means that this is no more invasive or difficult for patients than those at-home tests we are sending as gifts. These low costs, in addition to the potential of financial incentives and data protections, combine to form an interesting approach.
Some may look at a DNA test and say why bother? What’s in it for me? This method and the additional aspect of the South African scheme show that there is a lot to gain – financially, medically and emotionally.