With the advent of easily-understandable genetic tests that can be sold cheaply at a retail level, all sorts of different sub-sectors within healthcare have begun monetizing DNA in their own way.
One (positively reviewed) company known as Rootine has entered the market with a very unique approach; get at-home DNA test results and bloodwork results, and then have an algorithm build you a custom multivitamin made to fill all of your deficiencies.
While it may sound too good to be true, Rootine is very clear about their policies and procedures. 3 actual scientific studies must show that there is a good correlation between a genetic pattern and a deficiency that needs correcting before it is even considered for addition to their algorithm.
Another popular DNA monetization strategy has been the heritage-tracing angle. In this niche sales pitch, companies like Ancestry.com offer an at-home genetic test that will allow you to see what % of your genetic makeup can be traced to certain nationalities and ethnic origins. To make things even more fun, they give you facts about random findings in your DNA – like how likely you are to be a musically inclined individual based on your genetic profile. (Yes, really)
The down side to all of this, of course, is the genetic data issue. While companies like Rootine promise not to use your genetic information for any other uses, many DNA test companies are not as privacy friendly. In a world run by marketers and advertisers who want to show you a personalized ad during every waking moment of your life, many consumers feel very uncomfortable handing over their DNA. It makes sense, too, if you really consider it; maybe your DNA could inadvertently show marketers the easiest way to persuade you based on your genetic makeup – and you certainly don’t want that!
No matter which end of the DNA debate you may be on, there’s no doubt that our world overall has chosen to move forward with collection, experimentation, and profiteering from genetics. Love it or hate it, these “at-home” tests are here to stay – until they’re replaced by even more convenient testing options in the not-too-far future.