As I explained in a previous post, genetic tests are going to become routine tests and the future of medicine or health care in general is going to involve predictive and preventive actions.
Three factors will facilitate it:
We already know how to predict diseases so that they do not appear with preventive measures.
People take better care of themselves and want a better quality of life.
The cost of genetic analysis is becoming more accessible.
However, there are still some obstacles to the expansion of predictive medicine.
The traditional medical system, both public and private, is based on curative medicine.
According to an internal study carried out by medmesafe, accessing a specialist in genetics in Spain is usually very complicated. Responding to a genetic concern and studying a risk takes between a minimum of 3 months and 1.5 years in the worst case.
In Spain, for example, some 3 million people suffer from a rare disease and the biggest problem that currently exists is diagnosis. “40% of people travel in search of a diagnosis.” Source: https://www.enfermedades-raras.org
On the other hand, “a patient with a rare disease waits an average of 5 years to obtain a diagnosis and in 20% of cases it takes 10 years or more until the correct diagnosis is achieved.” There is still a lot to talk about personalized medicine.
Knowing that “a high percentage of these diseases the primary cause is of genetic origin” according to the Roche Institute, one of the first measures that we wanted to offer at medmesafe is genetic counseling by video consultation available from home in an average of 48 hours at a accessible price of €50.
Many of the online platforms do not offer a good service
Based on the fact that carrying out a genetic study in the current system is a long and complicated path… when possible, many people choose to buy genetic tests online.
Access is easy, fast but:
The analyzes are based on few genetic data (0.01% or less) when good practice recommends studying an entire gene or several genes over the entire exome.
The results are often sent to the client without any explanation. Then stress is generated on your part and you don’t know how to act to reduce the risk.
That is why at medmesafe, our services are:
Selected by our scientific and ethics committee and to answer specific concerns such as non-invasive prenatal testing or predisposition testing for hereditary cancers…
And users are accompanied by a health professional to explain what the test consists of, what it contributes and its limits and, above all, what preventive measures should be carried out according to the results.
Physicians are involved in predictive medicine
Doctors have not been trained in genetics. I remember a doctor asking me if we had to “repeat the tests every year” when we know that genome or exome sequencing can be done once.
But the question is not so much whether or not the doctor knows genetics, but rather who is the person recommended to accompany patients throughout the genetic analysis process. Here opinions vary depending on belonging to this or that specialty.
On the one hand, geneticists who are mostly biologists think that they should carry out the consultations themselves because they know the technique and technology behind a genetic analysis. And on the other, the law, which recommends a “medical purpose” and an accompaniment.
I am convinced that the interest of genetics is not in its technical aspect but rather to resolve doubts, analyze risk, improve lives and apply guidelines. For this reason, at medmesafe, we want to be the link between doctors and laboratories at the service of everyone’s health.