Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you have a question that was not answered, please .
Your doctor is the final judge, but there is so much useful information any person (healthy or sick) can get from genomic sequencing. And many healthy people are indeed getting tested. Our test is a great preventative medicine tool, potentially uncovering insights such as medication responses and disease risk. You and your doctor can use these types of insights to structure a proactive care plan to keep you healthy.
Yes. Our report contains complex medical information which is best interpreted by a trained physician. Trust us, this is powerful stuff. Moreover, US laws require our test to be ordered through a doctor. We will help you find a qualified doctor if you do not have already one.
Whole Exome Sequencing, what we specialize in, provides a much broader view of your DNA than genotyping (what 23andMe does for instance). This means we are better able to understand how your DNA affects your health. In addition to the difference in sequencing, we apply far more sophisticated computer algorithms. We use deep literature mining and natural language processing to link the DNA variations you have with peer reviewed published papers. We can make sense of and determine the impact of even very rare mutations. Our database contains more than 250,000 associations between genomic mutations and health related findings -- by far, the world's largest. For these reasons, we call ourselves the world's most powerful DNA test.
At the time of ordering, you will have the option to elect to hide certain results from your report. We recommend discussing this with your doctor before the test is ordered. One option many young people like is hiding risks for diseases that are considered hard to prevent (such as Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease). This allows the person to focus on health conditions that are more immediately actionable.
We take data security very seriously. Of course we are HIPAA compliant, but we go much further than that. We encrypt all DNA information while it is stored on one of our hard drives and whenever it is transmitted between computers. Only certain authorized personnel have access to your data (for quality control purposes). You are also able to control which doctors have access to your data.
Because exome sequencing technology is so new, our test is not currently accepted by most insurance. However, patients with certain serious medical problems often do get reimbursement from their insurer by submitting a claim. (We can help with this process -- please .)
You have protection. Congress passed the GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) in 2008, which prevents health insurers and employers from unfairly treating Americans based on their DNA. Health insurers and employers cannot increase premiums, deny or limit coverage, or fire an employee due to genomic information.
We see plenty of patients who have received no useful information from taking other genetic tests. We would be happy to reexamine your data using our superior algorithms. Please .
There are many limitations, and you should consult with your doctor to get a complete understanding. Here are some: because Next Generation Sequencing is a randomized process, there is a probability that any portion of our advertised coverage region happens to be incompletely sequenced; there are types of genomic variation that Next Generation Sequencing is not ideal at detecting; measurement errors can happen; basic science's understanding of the impact of the genome on human health is still evolving; and not every healthcare issue relates to genomics.