Healthcare is a strange thing. We all need it, but we don’t necessarily do what’s in our best interest.
Take genetic information. Sequencing technology is reaching a price point where many people could afford to learn a lot more about themselves—their risks, predispositions, and so forth. Yet most aren’t touching it, at least not yet. That “paradox” was one of the topics of a keynote chat between Harvard geneticist George Church and Third Rock Ventures VC and entrepreneur Alexis Borisy, at our “Healthcare Gets Personal” event at Google last Thursday.
One conclusion: it’s important to figure out what you can (and will) do with genetic information, as well as what probably can’t be changed. And how to share all that information for broader health reasons, when the time comes—plus all the regulatory issues around that. But “we can change our genetics now,” Church said. “We can change our destiny.”
Personal genomics and analytics were just one piece of a very entertaining afternoon—we also heard about health tracking, diagnostics, wearables, behavior change, and even videogames that might be prescribed for brain therapy.
Big thanks to Brian Cusack and Google for hosting the event, and to Comcast Business for sponsoring it. And, of course, thanks to all of our speakers and attendees for making the event fun and successful.
Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.