At medmesafe, we are convinced that genetic and genomic studies are not only going to multiply in number, but are also going to be generalized to become routine analyses.
I see two main factors that support the conviction of the future exponential growth of genetic studies.
To carry out a genetic study, the first necessary element is to access the genetic data that allow this analysis. And to access this data, once a DNA sample has been extracted, it is necessary to carry out a sequencing of this same sample so that it becomes a “computer” code. The famous code made up of 4 letters: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T).
With the different sequencing technologies: Sanger Sequencing, Next Generation Sequencing and its evolutions, extracting this code is getting faster and faster and the quality of the code keeps improving.
The cost of genetic data is falling fast
Technological advances, computing power, and the increase in the volume of analyzes performed have made the cost of accessing genomic data less than $1,000 for a complete genome. Some laboratories already offer this type of analysis for as little as $600!!!
However, it is not necessary to extract the entire genome to carry out a genetic study. Depending on the need of the study, an exome (only the genes that we know how to interpret today – around 20,000) or some genes are left over to perform an analysis depending on the response sought.
In any case, the value of a genetic study is not in the sequencing of the data, nor in its interpretation, which today is almost automatic for many cases. The real value of a genetic study lies in the medical follow-up that guides the person to make appropriate decisions based on their results.
For this reason, the price should not be an obstacle to carrying out a genetic study, especially if we know how to assess that these analyzes will allow us to live better.
The questions are then:
What should study a genetic analysis?
Who can accompany me to understand how my genes influence my future health, the health of my children or my future children?
What is the health (genetic predisposition) that I have inherited?
What genetic predisposition will I pass on to my children?
How to alert my family if we have a risk?
What good news can I give my loved ones?
Why always think that medicine has to be curative?
Why not see health as a good that can be taken care of and thus prevent diseases?
Why pay a doctor or treatments of hundreds or thousands of Euros when you can know your predispositions to diseases so that they never develop or their effects are minimized?
Why take medications without having studied their metabolization and thus choose the right drug to optimize treatment and avoid undesirable effects?
Too little is said about genetics considering the role it plays
There are several reasons that, according to me, explain why little is said about genetics and here I leave my assumptions.
Ignorance, the enemy of intelligence
For those of us who work in technology or who live by and for innovation, we know that the biggest obstacle to change is ignorance.
During these months, I have found various health professionals or people who have explained to me that genetics is useless, that it is a hoax, that it is something from the very distant future… And when I asked what these allegations were based on, I have never come across with reasonable explanations based on data.
In their explanations there was a lot of “they say”, “I have read”, “Well,…”. And my answers in the form of a question have been: “Who says what?”, “Where is it said?”, “What is your argument? … without ever getting an answer to these questions.
conflicts of interest
Let’s say things as they are: predictive medicine revolutionizes the very concept of medicine.
The current healthcare system, whether public or private, is based on the following flow: I live in ignorance – I develop illness or disease – I go to the doctor who tries to do what he can.
The optimal system would be: I study my health – A health professional advises me – I choose how I want to live
Today we have techniques and technologies so that those who want to take care of themselves can do so in an informed and safe way. Information is increasingly accessible and predictive medicine cannot go back. The new generations are not afraid of information, of novelty… they look for it!
Health professionals have new tools not only to accompany sick people (patients) but also to accompany healthy people (individuals) and avoid, as far as possible, that they become ill and, if they are, that these diseases are much less serious.
Health should be an investment
Watch your health as a good implies taking care of it. And taking care of yourself is not waiting for it to deteriorate to act. It’s knowing her, loving her,…
It is also to be realistic and calculate the cost of it. Accept that not betting on it has consequences.
Our health is our most important asset, and it seems absurd, from a logical point of view, to spend money on games, entertainment and, nevertheless, the expense is questioned when it has to do with our own health. Without health it is much more difficult to have fun and the one who is sick knows it well.
For this reason, at medmesafe we try to keep this investment minimal and positive. When a client contacts us to tell us that he is happy with our services, he reinforces us to continue doing things better every day.
The medmesafe team, our scientific and ethics committee, health professionals: doctors, nutritionists who work with us, our collaborating laboratories, the entities that support and accompany us: ASEBIO, the Madrid Science Park Foundation, the Spanish Association of Startup and the National Association of Health Informants are committed to expanding global knowledge about predictive medicine.
Thus, we will continue to publish articles frequently on this blog, facebook, twitter, linkedin, youtube and we are at your disposal to clarify doubts through our contact form or at + 34 911 284 591.
Clement Destoumieux, CEO of medmesafe