A scan of news headlines from the past couple of months netted articles discussing genetic links to anxiety, glaucoma, weight gain, intelligence, athletics, cancer, and smoking. It’s not unimaginable that genetics could play a role in managing every aspect of our health. The trick will be figuring out how to counterbalance genetic predisposition with behavioral changes and clinical support.
Genetic testing companies fall into different buckets, based on whether they’re focused on the past, present, or future:
With the ability to test potential parents for inheritable conditions like cystic fibrosis, or risk for diseases like Parkinson’s, genetic testing may one day become the expected standard for care delivery. In the meantime, there are still some privacy concerns. While the Genetic Information Nondiscrimindation Act (GINA) bars health insurance companies from denying coverage to those with risky gene mutations, the law doesn’t extend to life insurance companies, long-term care, or disability insurance.
Speed of testing, accuracy, financial cost, counseling support, and privacy are all factors that should be considered when evaluating services in this space. But the possibilities certainly seem to warrant discussion. Are you starting to think about these new types of services and how they might benefit your workforce?