Sunday, November 11, 2007

Scienceroll reviews Personalized Medicine Companies

Today, Bertalan Mesko at Scienceroll has reviewed three companies. Navigenics, 23 and Me, and Helix Health of Connecticut of CT. For full disclosure, I am not only the owner of Helix Health of Connecticut, I am also a patient. My family has a significant genetic background for disease. Because of this, I was motivated to change the paradigm of current medical/genetics practice.

Berci does a nice job of describing the companies and what he estimates their best attributes.

"If we could merge the real advantages of these companies:

  • the fantastic team of Navigenics and their unique business model;

  • the financial background of 23andMe; the focus on genealogy information and social networking;

  • the personal aspect of Helix Health of Connecticut and their potential to serve and help physicians as well,

…then it would be the perfect service. But it’s impossible to compare them properly as they are all unique in their own way and will probably find their base of customers."

I have to say that I am in agreement with Berci, I wouldn't mind working with Navigenics or 23 and Me to help shape this field known as personalized medicine. I have had experience with the multiple legal issues involved in providing telemedicine and other scalable services this way. But I must re-emphasize that nothing gets truly communicated unless the patient has the ability to ask questions, over and over again. Can someone who has never been trained in medicine answer medical questions? Yes. Will they be protected from litigation? No. Will they provide insightful answers....I leave that answer up to you.

I don't believe it is a smart idea to cut out the health care provider from this equation. Full Disclosure (I am a health care provider). But that's not why. I have seen it done the other way. I have seen patients who have had DTC testing. They have received services from certain unnamed companies and couldn't understand what was going on. Even worse the needed some re-assurance but the phone counselor obviously couldn't see the patients face. So all in all they came to me for personalization. The true key to personalized medicine.

The Sherpa Says: Stay Tuned to Scienceroll. I know I visit his blog everyday. The talented Dr Mesko has the most cutting edge information on this fast moving topic. He is my own personal Sherpa. By the way, make sure you vote, there are 4 days left. It's all tied up. "How much is a Sherpa worth to you?" Some of my readers feel like they could take a course to be a sherpa, Others already are Sherpa's, some are looking for a sherpa, and the last want to climb Mt Everest with 1 cleat, a windbreaker, and Wikipedia as their guide. Which are you?


Hercules said...

wow Sherpa that must make you proud -- including Helix Health of Connecticut in the comparison is very interesting if you look at things from a valuation standpoint, taking the $25M for about one third of Navigenics as a comparison.... as for your other question, if I'm already the smartest guy I know, who can I possibly trust for a second opinion?

Berci Meskó said...

I'm so thankful for your kind words, Steve! And this line is so true:

"But I must re-emphasize that nothing gets truly communicated unless the patient has the ability to ask questions, over and over again. "

Steve Murphy MD said...

the shmoopies: How much is nothing valued at? In the 90's it was about 25 mil. As for the smartest guy you know.....well smartness is in the eye of the beholder. Do you know what they say about a doctor who treats him/herself.....They have a fool for a patient ;)



Steve Murphy MD said...

Thanks again. I am glad someone undertsands this point.

Steve Murphy MD said...

The Shmoopies: What I mean is that valuation too is in the eye of the beholder as well as the purchaser. I think our services are priceless ;)