Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Letter RE "The Science -- Or Lack Of It -- Behind Genetic Tests Offered In The Workplace," Forbes

While wellness programs have historically shown little worth to anyone outside of the HR departments that devise them, a genetics wellness program, could, in the future, potentially provide actionable information for employees, albeit once the complex science and complicated legal concerns have been fully worked out. However, even before the scientific hurdles are overcome, employees empowered with genetic information can be incentivized to monetize their data. One of the key innovations powering the huge rise in the internet was the realization that the central function of searching could be monetized by intelligently trading in data. Here too, employees could voluntarily disclose some of their general wellness-genetic-data to health insurers with the understanding that if they seek out good behavior to overcome any currently perceived genetic predispositions, (a worthwhile effort in of itself, despite the current lack of strong scientific correlations) they will be rewarded with lower premiums. Perhaps this conjunction of insurance with personal genomics will provide a way for researchers to collect substantial amounts of useful genomic information.

Dov Greenbaum and Mark Gerstein

Unpublished letter in response to:
David Shaywitz's "The Science -- Or Lack Of It -- Behind Genetic Tests Offered In The Workplace" December 18, 2015

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