Convenience Is in Its Genes

By Akudo McGee 6 Min Read

For most of us, the topic of genes and DNA only extend as far as knowing that we may have our father’s eyes or our mother’s curls, for others genes are a source of wonder or discovery and for a small few, knowing our genes could be a matter of life or death.

For decades the only way to get information on your genes was to submit to expensive genetic testing which wasn’t always transparent when it came to cost, privacy and control and could only be done under select conditions and locations.

Today’s startup Color Genomics is hoping to change things. Their goal is to provide better services for clients looking for generic testing that is as safe and reliable as traditional testing but more convenient. By expanding the ease of acquiring reliable genetic testing, they hope to make it more available to a wider audience than ever before.

Color provides high-quality, physician-ordered, genetic testing at a low cost. We include support for physicians, as well as genetic counseling as part of every purchase. Our goal is to expand physician-supported access to genetic testing to help every person, everywhere understand their risk for hereditary disorders.

Color Genomics sells several kits for different genetic tests. These kits include hereditary cancer test, BPCA test (for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer), hereditary heart health test and their hereditary high cholesterol test. The idea behind each test kit is that knowing your potential risks allows you to take action sooner, rather than later and develop a treatment plan that is more relevant to your actual risks and symptoms.

Better prevention and screening can look like a few different things, however, Color Genomics argues that with the ability to assess your risks using their test you’d likely request earlier and more frequent screenings, preventative measures and proactive care for you and your family members.

How does preventative care work (potentially)? Well, if you find out that your risk for a certain disease is increased due to results of genetic profile tests, then you may be more likely to get recommended screenings or tests and checkups early to stay ahead of the game.

Based on screening results, a client’s physician may also recommend preventative measures, like certain medicines to reduce the risk of disease. Finally, since hereditary diseases run in the family so understanding and assessing your risk could mean a healthier future for your family as well. Detecting a problem before it starts or early in disease development could literally be the difference between life and death.

So what do the kits contain? Well, the contents of the kits vary from kit to kit but generally each kit contains information about the presence (or absence) of generic abnormalities which may signal an advance risk for certain diseases, an analysis of personal and family health history, personalized risk information and screening guidelines and information about how your results may impact your lineage.

How does the test work? Once you purchase the test online, you will provide your sample and send in the results. When the results are received, a board-certified genetic counselor will go over your test results with you. Once the client discusses results with their genetic counselor, they can create a health plan with their health care provider if further action needs to be taken. Color Genomics provides ongoing support so clients are updated of any changes in guidelines or any risk related changes.

Color For All partners with leading cancer clinics to donate free genetic testing to under-served individuals across the country.

At this time a test has to be ordered by a physician, either your physician or an independent physician, however, your provider immediately receive a copy of your results for assistance. Their tests currently sell for $249 (not including shipping and handling) and information about each individual test, including a short video is available to the potential client before the order. All information is protected under the same HIPAA guidelines that your doctor and healthcare team follow to protect your information regularly.

By providing services for a fraction of the price of traditional genetic tests, Color Genomics has created something that goes beyond the all too common, one size fits all treatment plans. Allowing clients to understand and unlock their own complicated genetic information not only allows for custom made treatment plans but also protects future generations from potentially harmful genetic diseases by empowering them with knowledge of potential genetic threats.

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