Once, Justin Kao during his drive was listening to the National Public Radio and heard about the latest discovery of “sweet tooth gene”. Kao is fond of eating cookies and thought to pay $5 to know if he could have that. Later, he thought that there could be millions of people who would be willing to pay bucks for revealing the tidbits in their DNA. Justin Kao, the co-founder of Helix San Francisco based company that secured $100 million in the last summer in a quest to create the first app store for genetic information.
Today, the company is launching its one of the much anticipated online hub. A hub where people can digitally explore their genetic code by downloading multiple applications on their computers or mobile devices. You can take it as an app store for your genome.
The personalized genetic information has now become an affordable asset. The early success of leaders like 23andMe and the AncestryDNA that sells DNA testing kits for $200 or may be less have been a guide in the wave of new companies that are offering directly to consumer genetic tests for everything from the things you eat based on the consumer’s DNA.
Most of the genetic testing kits available in the market are one time deals. What you have to do is just spit in the tube and your saliva will be sent to the lab. Later, a detailed report of your genetic makeup will be sent to you.
Whereas with Helix, people can get a filtered report. Helix is using DNA sequencing; a more precise method. The people who have opted for exome sequencing; that can cost from several hundred to more than thousand dollars elsewhere. Helix is also being used for managing and developing apps for the stores of several high-rated medical institutions like the Mayo Clinic.
On the other hand, Stephen Montgomery is worried about the direct-to-consumer genetic tests including the ones that usually claim to predict the risk of any disease. He says; “helix would have to think wisely what apps to be allowed on the platform” and so he thinks that Helix would be successful in maintaining the quality of the data provided by the apps.