According to an MIT survey, as of today, over 26 million people have already taken at-home DNA tests. This matters for the pharmacology industry as a whole because of the accessibility and popularity of these tests both contribute to the development of personalized medicine. This trend is transforming healthcare and pharmacology in particular as it opens routes for better treatments. Although this trend is only starting, it might lead to great discoveries and development of efficient cures for the many diseases the exist today.
At-Home DNA Testing Kits and Their Impact on Pharmacology
As DNA testing technology is growing more sophisticated it also becomes more accessible, which is the reason why at-home DNA kits exist in the first place. Today the results this testing can provide are rather limited, but already you can be sure that they will grow more accurate with time.
As they are already easily accessible, at-home genetic testing kits enable anyone to learn a lot about their body, thus facilitating the development of personalized health plans. This, in turn, contributes to pushing forward the personalized pharmacology, which can help create more effective medications adjusted to people on the individual level. The abundance of DNA test kits makes this possible even with the limited abilities of the testing technology today. The tests you can use are extremely versatile and while none of them is highly accurate, collecting information from a variety of sources can offer better insight that a patient can use.
This at-home testing shows what can be possibly achieved through the development of pharmacogenetics, which can use specialized DNA tests in order to predict response to the medication. A close collaboration between geneticists and pharmacologists can take the healthcare industry to a whole new level. And the accessibility of home DNA testing indicates the great progress that can be achieved through such collaboration.
By making medicine as a whole personalized, doctors and pharmacists can create treatments that will have a much higher success rate. Moreover, the information collected in each individual case will help boost the industry as a whole because the understanding of how the human body reacts to specific medications will improve.
This will, no doubt, push the pharmaceutical companies of today toward developing personalized medications. We might as well see the return of the times where every medication was produced individually for the patient. However, unlike the healers of old, who created their remedies by hand, the pharmacists of the future will have the technology to create much more efficient treatments fast, thus saving millions of lives all over the planet.
What Are the Dangers of Home DNA Testing Kits?
However, it’s very important to understand that these developments of personalized pharmaceuticals based on simple DNA testing are in the future still. As they stand now, at-home DNA testing kits aren’t accurate enough to rely on their results when making health-related decisions.
One can use them as a guideline to be more cautious about their diet, for example. However, any major health concerns should be taken to a doctor and any pharmaceutical medications can only be prescribed by them.
Unfortunately, the rise in popularity of these tests increases the risk that patients will try to take their own treatments into their own hands. Therefore, careful regulation of pharmaceutical drugs is essential for preventing many a tragedy, which can result from self-treatment.
It’s true that pharmacogenetics can help revolutionize the health care industry. However, the technology that drives it forward requires a lot more work before it can become as easily accessible as at-home DNA kits are today.
The good news is that technology is developing at an extremely rapid pace. Home genetic testing kits also improve the accuracy of their results with every new piece of data added to the databases. As the accuracy of these tests relies on comparative analysis, the more information the companies have, the better they can serve their customers.
DNA testing is getting progressively more accessible, but it’s only one of the many steps that contribute to the development of personalized pharmaceuticals. The next big break in this field might be microbiome analysis.
There is a growing body of evidence that clearly states that the bacteria living inside us have a great impact on the way human bodies respond to medication. Moreover, those same bacteria can be the cause or major contributors to some health conditions that do not yet have cures. For example, a recent study shows that Parkinson’s disease might actually originate from the gut, not the brain as was believed before. The development of this testing and subsequent production of personalized pharmaceuticals will, no doubt, improve the treatment results saving more lives.
One thing is for sure, the future lies in personalized medicine and personalized pharmaceutical treatments. Any technology that helps create such treatments should be watched closely so that pharm corporations can utilize it to create better treatments.