Monday, April 20, 2009

The Genome App Store.....


I was reading an article in the economist the other day, a good article mind you. It turns out that Drew Y was correct. It appears that the hype for DTC Genome scans is waning......


That being said, in the article George Church says something which sticks with me:


"Dr Church even argues that genome sequencing “will in effect be available free” because companies will give away sequencing to sell other services, such as genetic interpretation—much as mobile operators “give away” handsets to get customers to sign up for lucrative service plans. And when this happens, he reckons, “it will be just like the internet: once all this information is floating around, a lot of creative people with PCs will nose around and develop applications.”


Daniel over at Genetic Future put this out there. But it seems that the only discussion is about when the APP store will come to be.....Not if and how....


When I imagine genome applications for the next 5 years, the majority revolve around researchers......Why? That's where the market is. If you want to look at what Google thinks is a cool app, just look at the 23andMe site. They are doing precisely that. Developing apps.


I think GenomeApp is a good name here. Genome Tools on the other hand is a horrible name here. Why? Well, most of these things aren't really tools. They don't help you get work done by expending less energy.....


A programmer friend of mine tells me a story about the guy who created a facebook App which tells you your IQ. You answer some questions and voila! IQ score. It turns out that this guy just picked random questions, didn't scientifically validate his design and put out an APP, which tells EVERYONE, that they're a genius.


It turned out millions of people took the APP......Millions


Is that what we can expect from the genome APP store?


“it will be just like the internet: once all this information is floating around, a lot of creative people with PCs will nose around and develop applications.”


Yeah, just like the IQ App.....


What is the DTC SNP app that is being sold right now? Risk prediction about heart disease, stroke, diabetes etc....


But, it turns out that these "APPs" add absolutely nothing to the clinical predictive models for these diseases......


That being said, there are some non-medical uses that people find excellent. These predominantly lie in the realm of ancestry tracing. A very cool and perhaps useful tool. But this APP took years to create, not just a bunch of programmers hacking around and making "APPs"


I think George is a little naive here, or he seriously thinks it is ok to create Crap APPs and put them out there for consumption.


In this case, I wonder if these new Genome disease prediction APPs will be just as good as the IQ app....


The Sherpa Says: Everyone is free to make crap, everyone is free to buy it. But it is also the responsibility of the public health officials, press, medical and scientific communities to scream from the rooftops when the Crap could be harmful. Rather than play the game "All Ships Rise with the Tide"

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The promotion to Drew Y doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

Also, don't bother wasting time with those stupid Facebook applications.....most are junk and don't work correctly or are completely flawed like you indicated in your article.

Andrew said...

I should publish that email I sent in December.

Andrew said...

I'm that programmer with the friend. The website with the IQ test is:

http://www.testriffic.com/iq/

"A programmer friend of mine tells me a story about the guy"

I'm the programmer friend. Actually, the website was originally a Myspace plugin, and the guy and dis friend went on to also create the Facebook application "Quizzes" which at one time was a top-10 Facebook application. They seem to have burned out on the project this year, though.

http://alexa.com/siteinfo/23andme.com+testriffic.com+http%3A%2F%2Fscienceblogs.com%2F