Questions about the lab and the market
Are all genetic laboratories competitors?
There are more than 800 genetic laboratories worldwide. A common misconception is, that every genetic laboratory competes with every other genetic laboratory. Especially in our field of business (preventive and lifestyle genetic analyses and programs) this is a very inaccurate assumption. This is a short summary of what the main differences are:
The principle of service
Standard genetic lab: acts as a diagnostic tool for genetic specialists that are highly trained in the interpretation of genetic data. Typically, raw genetic data is provided and the expert draws a conclusion from it.
Our Lab: While we do raw genetic diagnostics, our main focus is on the interpretation of what the results mean for the customer. The complex interpretation is done by our experts, which makes the reports easy to understand for moderately trained professionals and laymen customers.
The type of language used
Standard genetic lab: uses highly scientific language with many technical terms usually only known to highly trained professionals. Reports are typically unintelligible to non-experts.
Our lab: While we do include some technical terms in the scientific sections, our whole communication is geared towards easy understanding, while conserving scientific correctness. This allows normal medical professionals and customers to understand the results.
The scope of service
Standard genetic lab: the service is almost always limited to the raw genetic analysis and the interpretation is left to the expert requesting the test. No relative risk evaluation, prevention advice or other relevant information is provided and must be generated by the requesting expert.
Our lab: The raw genetic analysis is less than 10% of our whole service. We do the same genetic analysis that other laboratories would do, but our experts then interpret the results, give relative risk details, spend time explaining the disease in simple to understand language, give extensive preventive or treatment advice based on results and give nutrition, treatment and lifestyle advice that helps the subject to reduce the risk of developing a certain disease and achieve optimal health.
The type of analyses
Standard genetic lab: Standard genetic laboratories typically focus on diagnostic analyses, meaning that they offer the service of testing certain genes for the correct diagnosis of a given disease. Typically, this is done for diagnosis of problems and sometimes to also detect the risk of close family members. The services are typically limited to rare diseases that have severe clinical consequences. General population risk diseases are typically not offered. Test for preventive or lifestyle change purposes such as nutrition or weight loss are almost never part of the portfolio.
Our lab: While we do perform rare genetic diagnostic services, our main focus is on detecting frequent population risk genetic variations that influence the risk of developing common diseases. An even larger part of our service focuses on nutrigenetics, meaning that subjects responds differently to different nutrients in the nutrition. The first and small part of the program is the genetic analysis, followed by an extensive interpretation of the results and elaborate recommendation, explanations and programs of how to change the nutrition, treatment and lifestyle to achieve a certain goal.
Scope of the reports
Standard genetic lab: A typical clinical genetic testing report usually encompasses between one and three pages printed on standard white paper in black-and-white. It explains the disease being tested for, gives information about the technology and gene being tested and gives detailed technical data on the genetic variation that was found. The interpretation is usually limited to a few lines of mentioning that the identified mutation is either likely or unlikely to cause the disease being tested for.
Our lab: While we do the same type of genetic testing that other labs do, the majority of effort goes into the correct interpretation and creation of personalized reports and programs. The reports are typically between 40 and 200 pages long and contain elaborate programs and ways to change your nutrition and lifestyle to achieve a certain goal. This includes lists of food type study evaluated based on genetic information, personalized recipes, lists of medication that might work or might be dangerous and preventive lifestyle advice based on the results.
See for yourself
This image shows a standard genetic testing report issued by most of the more than 800 genetic laboratories worldwide. Only a highly trained scientist will understand half of the words used in this report. It is one page long and only suitable for a highly trained scientist which can then draw conclusions and next steps for treatment based on his training and experience. No preventive or treatment advice is provided.
This report shows the type of programs we create based on genetic information. It includes easy to understand language suitable for the end customer, interpretation of the complex genetic data, elaborate treatment advice based on the results, nutritional and lifestyle change advice, personalized recipes or long lists of different types of food which are evaluated based on the genetic profile and more. The main focuses on the question: how can I use my genetic data to achieve a certain goal?
It is incorrect to see every genetic laboratory in the world as a competitor of our services. Customers that usually purchase standard genetic testing services have a specific and typically rare medical need and are talking to a genetic specialist that focuses on a certain disease that is being tested. The expert will then give advice of how to treat the patient based on the result.
Our typical customers are usually healthy individuals who want to ensure that they will remain healthy or that want to reach a certain goal such as weight management or healthy nutrition. Medical geneticists usually do not have the means to provide the services to these customers. They are also typically not the right channel the services could and should be provided through, as there are nutritionists, specialist prevention doctors and other individuals in the health and lifestyle industry that can provide better counselling and care for such purposes.
Which laboratories are our competitors?
Of the more than 800 genetic labs worldwide, not more than a handful focus on the markets we are active in. Only laboratories and companies that provide genetic testing meant for end customers to read and interpret and that have the goal of preventing disease or improving the lifestyle can be considered as our competitors. Especially genetic tests in the fields of preventive genetics, nutrigenetics, weight management and pharmacogenetics are relevant players. Most of companies offering these services do not have their own laboratory, but outsourced to technical laboratories that handle the raw genetic data generation.
Most of the countries do not have laws regulating the genetic testing, and there are hardly any rules regarding the quality standards, completeness and content of genetic counseling and data security in these countries. This lack of control is noticeable, of course, in the quality of genetic testing and the subsequent counseling offered by various providers, strictly depending on their seriousness and common sense. While many foreign genetic testing companies take their quality assurance into their own hands, all Genosense analyses are conducted exclusively in our Novogenia laboratories approved by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health and certified by several other authorities. This principle is reflected, of course, in the quality, reliability and usefulness of our genetic testing.
Data security is particularly important in the field of genetic analysis, and our highest priority. Therefore, we have numerous security measures integrated into our processes, to ensure the security of your data. For example, your identity and the results of your analysis are stored separately, and they are brought together just before printing the report, under competent supervision.
First, we are a certified human genetics laboratory. We are also audited by the state of Austria and the ISO 15189 auditors. The information is split up on reception. The personal information is stored on one server and the genetic data on another one. If a hacker stole the data on one server, he would get a phone book or a mix up of genetical letters which are useless without a link to the person. All computers are protected against access, all activities are recorded, and all employees are under a medical duty to secrecy. Clients who are not satisfied with that have the option to specify that their data will be destroyed after the analysis.