Thursday, April 5, 2007

Google your genes part deux?

Not since Google partnered with Craig Venter in 2005 to start using the power of the genome have we heard a peep about the secrets that lie ahead for the two, well and possibly Ryan Phelan. CEO of that company which makes money off of testing people rather than a medical(yes genetics is medicine people) model. Stark II laws made it illegal for doctors to make profits from testing people, so why whould pseudo-medicine outfits be able?
Anyways, where was I? Oh Google.....
In this weeks HealthcareITNews there is an article on Google pushing for better health information on the web. Perhaps to harness the power of the two? Google your genes and then learn about the diseases you are predisposed to....All 50 of them :) This whole thing will not fly without doctors? Doctors are trained to build this list of 50 diseases and then whittle it down to 2 or 3. That being said, genetics is a different story. According the recent ACMG statistics the mean age of most geneticists is 52. There are also less than 1000 MD geneticists in the country! 20% plan to retire in the next 5 years. To fill their shoes? Less than half of the 150 training spots are filed. Google is starting to look like they have a chance. Even worse, in medical school the Association of American Medical Colleges ranks genetics as the 3rd most important topic yet none have a prerequisite of genetics in undergrad for entry. Your internist or pediatrician or Ob knows less about genetics than Google. Who will deliver the future and personalized medicine???? Not them. Maybe Google. Maybe cutting edge genetics practices that have specialized training?
What do you think?

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