#91 Ellen Matloff on Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing
Ellen Matloff is the President and CEO of My Gene Counsel. Ellen is the founder and former director of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Program at Yale School of Medicine.
Ellen has authored more than 50 scientific publications in the field, is an established educator, lecturer and media spokesperson and has received national awards for her ongoing patient advocacy efforts. She is an outspoken patient advocate in many areas, most notably as a plaintiff in the 2013 BRCA gene patent case that went before the Supreme Court. This decision has led to drastically lower prices of genetic testing, making it possible for more patients to afford this technology. Ellen is a Forbes.com contributor in the area of genetic counseling, testing, and digital health.
As genetic testing became more common and also more complex, she has served as the senior author on several publications since 2010, all documenting errors in the interpretation of genetic test results, from all over the US and Canada. From these experiences, Ellen created My Gene Counsel and its associated digital tools that can be used in parallel with genetic testing to help ensure that results are used accurately and effectively. These tools are scalable, affordable, are available to the consumer immediately, and on their own device, and - importantly - when your genetic test results are reclassified, or medical management recommendations change, you receive a text message or email.
Disclaimer, I (host Kira Dineen) also work at My Gene Counsel as the Communications Lead.
On This Episode We Discuss:
Defining direct-to-consumer (DTC) tests
Types are available to consumers
Difference between medical grade and DTC genetic tests
Accuracy of DTC genetic tests
What to know before choosing a DTC test
Examples of when a DTC test may be more appropriate than a medical grade test and vice versa
Why healthcare providers can’t afford to ignore DTC anymore
Potential implications of sending a sample to a DTC company
Benefits of signing up for My Gene Counsel
Want to learn more about genetic counseling? I have an entire category of podcast episodes dedicated to the field here, you can also scroll through episodes until one piques your interest. Hearing from patient advocates, in these episodes, is also a great way to gain understanding for the patient perspective and how genetic counselor have (or could have) helped in their journeys.
Stay tuned for the next new episode of DNA Today on October 19th. New episodes are released on the first and third Fridays of the month. See what else I am up to on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and iTunes. Questions/inquiries can be sent to Kira at info@DNApodcast.com.