- Genealogy giant Ancestry is getting into the business of healthcare.
- On Tuesday, the company announced two health products: AncestryHealth Core and AncestryHealth Plus, which can help users of the company’s DNA test get a sense of their family health history.
- AncestryHealth Core will cost $US149 – or $US49 if users have already taken an Ancestry test – while Plus will cost $US199, and additional quarterly updates after the first six months will cost $US49 fee every six months.
- Here’s what’s included in the reports.
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For the first time, family-history website Ancestry will tell you about your genetic health.
On Tuesday, the 36-year-old firm known for its family tree resources announced that it will offer two new products: AncestryHealth Core and AncestryHealth Plus.
Both will provide information like carrier status for genetic conditions, cancer risk and wellness reports and can help users get a sense of their family health history as well as ancestry. The tests aren’t currently available to residents of New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
What’s included in an AncestryHealth test
To order an AncestryHealth test, Ancestry will link consumers up with a doctor via the company PWNHealth. Next, the user will fill in information about their family health history. Results will be presented one at a time, incorporating the family health history into a conversation about health risks.
From there, users can choose to better understand the results via videos, text, interactive webinars, or directly talking to a genetic counselor. The report can also be printed out and taken to a doctor.
It’s a different route than rival 23andMe has taken. 23andMe’s health reports are available directly to consumers once they’re cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.
Ancestry plans to offer two health products:
- AncestryHealth Core, which will provide health reports about carrier status for rare conditions parents could pass on to kids, like cystic fibrosis, inherited cancers, heart disease, and wellness information about nutrition and metabolism. Georgiadis characterised it as reports that doctors consider the most actionable. AncestryHealth Core will cost $US149, or $US49 if users have already taken an Ancestry test.
- AncestryHealth Plus will offer more reports and the plan is to add additional info over time as the science advances. The test will be run on next-generation sequencing technology rather than the genotyping technology Core and the standard AncestryDNA test is run on. Unlike genotyping, which looks for specific parts of DNA and pieces them together, next-generation sequencing looks at only the protein-encoding parts of your genome, called the exome. The next-generation sequencing analyses roughly 2% of those 3 billion base pairs. The test will cost $US199, which includes six months of quarterly updates and additional educational resources. After that, it’s $US49 every six months for the quarterly updates, or $US100 a year.
Users who have already submitted their spit to Ancestry before don’t have to submit a new samples. The products will take about 6-8 weeks to report after ordering, even for those who have already taken the Ancestry test. The company said it plans to have the Plus program available widely in 2020. To perform the next-generation sequencing test, Ancestry’s partnering with lab-testing firm Quest Diagnostics.
Here are the conditions the tests will screen for:
- Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
- Hereditary colon cancer.
- Cardiomyopathy, a hereditary disease related to the heart muscle in which it’s hard to pump blood through the body, which could lead to heart problems like heart failure.
- Familial Hypercholesterolemia, a condition that elevates the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
- Hereditary Hemochromotosis, a condition in which the body absorbs too much iron.
- Thrombophilia, an inherited blood clotting disorder.
Ancestry will also provide carrier screenings for three conditions:
- Sickle Cell Anemia, a red blood cell disorder.
- Cystic Fibrosis, a condition that affects the lungs’s ability to function.
- Tay-Sachs Disease, a condition in which the body destroys nerve cells.
Competitor 23andMe offers many of the same tests for about $US200, including carrier status reports for those three conditions, as well as more than 40 others. It also reports predisposition for conditions like familial hypercholesterolemia and some variants associated with inherited breast and ovarian cancer.
23andMe’s consumer genetics test can also tell users if they have an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, tests that Ancestry did not choose to include.
The report also comes with wellness screenings that show based on genetics how individuals might process caffeine or lactose, the sugar found in milk. Here’s what’s all included:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Beta carotene
- Lactose tolerance
- Caffeine Metabolism
- Read more:
- 23andMe can now tell you your risk of developing diabetes, based on your DNA. Here’s what doctors want you to know.
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