Genetic testing was originally used to confirm or dispel a particular diagnosis of a genetic condition. But thanks to modern science and technology, genetic testing can now be used as a preventative tool.
Ancestry.com is one of the most notable companies in this space, but the market is now moving away from the ancestry sector into health, fitness, beauty and even dating. The direct-to-consumer genetic testing market more than doubled in 2017 and it’s believed that 1 in 25 Americans has access to personal genetic data.
We spoke with a representative of Color Genomics, a genetics testing company, to learn more about how they got started in such a new industry and how their tests are bringing peace of mind to Americans.
3 Reasons to Use Color Genomics Tests
Named one of the Most Innovative Companies in healthcare by Fast Company, Color was founded in 2013 with the goal of making genetic testing more broadly accessible to anyone, anywhere. Color is committed to providing high-quality, physician-ordered genetic testing at an affordable cost. Their innovative health services can help users identify any serious hereditary conditions such as high cholesterol.
Here are the top three reasons you should get a test with Color:
1.Tests are physician-ordered. The Color Test analyzes 30 different genes that impact the most common hereditary cancers—such as breast cancer—as well as cardiovascular risk. All tests are clinical-grade and must be ordered by a physician. However, that doesn’t mean that the process can’t be completed with just a few clicks of your mouse. For example, patients can sign up for a Color test on the website and once approved by their primary doctor or a physician within Color’s network, the test will be on its way to your doorstep for a quick saliva sample.
2.Genetic counselors help interpret results. A recent study by Boston University found that there can be a lot of challenges when people contact healthcare providers about their test results. Findings show having access to personal genetic information without understanding how to interpret the results can lead to problems like emotional distress. Color is fighting to close that gap by keeping a team of board-certified genetic counselors on-staff. If a test comes back with any mutations, a trained genetic counselor will contact the patient to deliver the test results and walk them through their next steps.
3.They work with insurance providers. Last year the company announced they will begin accepting insurance for its physician-ordered, 30-gene test for hereditary cancer risk. Although Color’s clinical-grade genetic testing service is competitively priced at just $249 for self-paying individuals, Color works with some of the largest insurance companies, representing more than 120 million Americans.
Choose the Right Test for You
According to Color’s website, 10% to 15% of most cancers are due to inherited mutations. Color offers a few different genetic tests for hereditary cancer and inherited heart conditions.
|Number of Genes Covered||
Breast and ovarian cancer
Hereditary High Cholesterol Test
Familial Hypercholesterolemia (heart condition)
Hereditary Cancer Test
Hereditary Heart Health Test
Cardiomyopathy, Arrhythmias, Arteriopathies & Familial Hypercholesterolemia
|Hereditary Cancer Test + Hereditary Heart Health Test|
8 cancers & 4 heart conditions
Genetic Testing as an Employee Benefit
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Color began partnering with enterprise customers in 2015 when an initial set of employers wanted to implement a cancer-focused preventive health program. The response rate was so high with the initial employers of the program that they chose to continue the partnership with Color, leading them to a new, untapped market.
Genetic testing has many benefits, such as reduced treatment costs, low employee turnover, and improved survival rates by early detection and prevention. Access to genetic health information can help lead to longer, healthier lives and lower treatment costs.
They have now partnered with more than 80 companies—including Visa, GE Appliances, SAP, Slack, Stripe, OpenTable and Levis—offering Color’s health service to their employees. Color believes that genomics will inevitably be a part of everyone’s approach to prevention, and employers and organizations are well positioned to drive it forward.