Veritas Genetics Will Analyze Your Genome on a Smartphone App
For $999, you can now know everything, and we mean every little thing about your genetics. This is possible through a consumer-friendly know-your-genome service brought to you by Veritas Genetics, that would detail your genetic makeup with a phone app and on-demand video calls with genetic counselors.
The company said a genome test is a one stop destination that will provide all the answers, essentially replacing every other type of genetic test. It will include all six billion letters of a person’s genome, analyzed by an algorithm to highlight medical predispositions. Users will be able to find out facts about their genetics that range from as silly as knowing the wetness or dryness of earwax to serious matters like whether they have “highly pathogenic germline mutations” that cause problems like malignant hyperthermia. They’ll also learn whether their genomes harbor cancerous genes, such as the BRCA breast cancer genes.
This service is particularly helpful as it provides you with all the facts for simply $999 while many genetic tests, like those for cancer risk, are carried out separately and can cost anywhere between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars each.
The company’s service could attract some trouble from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In an interview, Veritas CEO and cofounder Mirza Cifric said that genome data isn’t a substitute for a diagnosis by a doctor. Moreover, this test isn’t based on exact science and is mainly one that will provide logical facts rather than conclusive facts.“It’s a screening test, it’s not diagnostic,” says Cifric.
Veritas will first collect blood or spit samples from April and will reveal the first results by June, according to Cifric. Its app will include a share button that will allow consumers to share DNA information with a coach or trainer.
The app isn’t completely a “direct-to-consumer” service. A doctor will still have to order the test, and customers will undergo a genetic counseling session on the phone or through the app. involving a doctor means Veritas can dodge FDA regulations on “direct-to-consumer” services.
The service also begs the question as to how Veritas will generate a profit at such low prices. “We are going to do it without losing money,” Cifric promises. He says, for example, that Veritas might earn additional revenue charging customers $100 or more for additional genetic counseling sessions.