For a while now, there have been at-home genetics tests that people have been able to use. Recently, however, the FDA has approved a new and improved version of this take-home test. Now, these tests will be able to provide us with much more information that just telling us where our ancestors are from (which is still pretty cool). A company, 23andMe (and probably some other companies as well), will now be selling take-home genetics tests that can tell us how likely a person is to develop diseases. This test will look for markers associated with 10 different diseases: factor XI deficiency, a blood clotting disorder; Gaucher disease type 1, an organ and tissue illness; and celiac disease.
I think that this is absolutely a good idea and a great advance in technology. Although it’s a little pricey (basically $200 a test) I think anybody who receives a positive result for one of the diseases would pay even more money to have this information. We pay doctors hundreds of dollars throughout our lifetime (especially those who are sick or have these diseases) so the cost is really not significant. There have been concerns about the results of these tests being dangerous to patients because some say “once you read the results, there is no going back”. But I firmly believe it is better to know ahead of time and be able to prevent things or at least take action sooner as opposed to not knowing and being oblivious to health issues that you may have.