A View from Susan Young Rojahn
Yahoo Japan to Sell Genetic Test
The Internet company will market a test for disease-associated DNA variants.
Starting next month, Yahoo Japan will begin selling a disease-focused genetic testing kit directly to consumers. For 29,800 yen, around $370, customers can order the GeneLife2012 test kit, which will search for genetic variants associated with the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease, according to a press release.
Customers will ship off some spit for analysis, which will be handled by another Tokyo-based company, Genesis Health Care. The company will look for disease-assocated changes in 68 genes.
According to the Japan Times, Yahoo Japan will play only a marketing role and will not handle any data from the medical tests. But, if I am interpreting Google Translation’s interpretation of the press release correctly, it seems the Tokyo-based Internet giant is looking to expand its role as a source for health-care information and potentially its presence in the growing trend for individuals to monitor their own health. The company says the GeneLife2012 test will help prevent or slow diseases by alerting customers to the need for lifestyle changes through diet, exercise, and stress management.