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23andMe launches predisposition test for Type 2 diabetes

Shared by Radhika Narayanan | 12 0 0 | about 2 months ago

Reactions to the news are mixed, with some experts saying the test is unlikely to make much of a difference. At SXSW in Austin this weekend, consumer genomics company 23andMe unveiled its latest test, a predisposition report on Type 2 diabetes.The test, which has not undergone FDA clearance and does not purport to diagnose a condition, is designed to help people understand when theyre at a higher-than-normal risk for Type 2 diabetes so they can alter their lifestyle. To assist with the latter piece, the company is leaning on its new relationship with Lark Health.This is a significant launch from 23andMe as its the first polygenic test the company has offered based on its own data (at least, the first since it pulled its health tests from the market in 2013). The announcement was accompanied by a detailed whitepaper.Why it mattersFor a company like 23andMe, increasing the number of tests they offer adds a lot of value, and can have a snowball effect: the more data they collect, the more tests they can develop and the more tests they offer the more data they can collect (since new tests will drive new users to the service).And tests like this, that are built from 23andMes proprietary data store, give the company a competitive advantage against consumer genomics companies without their database.Additionally, Type 2 diabetes is a huge problem, affecting nearly one in 10 Americans and costing the healthcare system more than $327 billion a year, according to the CDC and the American Diabetes Association.23andMe hopes that by letting more people know theyre at risk, they can prevent some number of cases before they happen.

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