I’ve had two direct-to-consumer genomic tests before with Navigenics and Pathway Genomics. The topic of analyzing the genetic background to make decisions about lifestyle is really close to my heart, although as someone with a PhD in clinical genomics I know exactly what scientific limitations those companies have to face. Therefore I was glad to get a chance to order a Gentle genetic test and see how they try to tackle these problems. Gentle will sequence all my genes and test me for 1700+ medical conditions.
Here is a short interview with Peter Schols, CEO of Gentle Labs.
How does Gentle differ from all those direct-to-consumer genetic companies?
Gentle is different in many ways:
- We screen for over 1700 conditions, which is 5 times more than our closest competitor
- We screen more markers per condition, making our test more accurate and reliable
- We offer great mobile and web apps, check out our iPad app
- We don’t just dump results into people’s web accounts: we have genetic counseling with a medical doctor built-in
Prospective customers should have a look at this page for more info
How can companies performing sequencing compete with the next generation sequencing paradise in Beijing (Beijing Genomics Institute)?
We don’t want to compete on the sequencing itself: we outsource all lab work. Our focus is on DNA storage, DNA-analysis and on the communication of genetic test results.
The key part in a DTC genomic analysis is genetic counseling. Do your customers get access to such help in interpreting their results?
Absolutely, we have two levels of genetic counseling built-in: first of all, all test results are communicated by a medical doctor with a specialisation in medical genetics, through a teleconference. We have an exclusive agreement with Royal Doctors to provide our clients with the best medical geneticists worldwide. Alternatively, clients can choose to have the results communicated by their own doctor.
Secondly, our own Gentle geneticists are available to answer any questions our clients might have, whether it’s before taking the test or after discussing the results with the doctor. They’re are always there to help.
I cannot wait to get my results back which I will publish here as well.