[Video Profile] Interview with Leah Sparks, VP Business Development of DNA Direct

Medical professional societies have mandated that genetic tests be ordered by a physician and interpreted by a genetic counselor, geneticist, or other specialist. In some states, genetic testing must be accompanied by an in-person genetics evaluation or genetic counseling appointment.

This approach is limited by the fact that there are only 1,200 medical geneticists and just over 2,000 genetic counselors in the U.S., most of whom live in urban areas. In our existing healthcare model, not everyone has access to genetic testing that that can help encourage informed decision making.

San Francisco-based DNA Direct has created a web- and phone-based virtual genetics clinic. Genetic testing results can be complex, and inmost cases, do not provide definitive “yes” or “no” answers. DNA Direct focuses on personalized test result interpretation and supportive services.

The company provides individuals with education and the opportunity to decide whether testing is right for them. DNA Direct confidentially collects relevant personal and family health information and then uses medical guidelines to determine any potential medical benefit from genetic testing.

Test result interpretation is offered through a comprehensive, personalized report available on a secure webpage. In addition to test results, clients can choose to receive personalized information about personal genetic risks, how other factors contribute to genetic risk, how to modify risk factors, and how to share genetic risk information with relatives and medical professionals.

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