Genome Sequencing Approaches its Cell Phone Moment

2-19-2013 7-21-13 PM

A cell phone moment, the moment when the cost of a technology drops enough to usher in a wave of general public adoption, may be fast approaching for the booming genome sequencing industry according to a recently published Wired article.

The shift is being driven by a push to provide seamless services that include everything from genetic sequencing, to data analysis and interpretation, to delivery of reports that medical providers can use to make treatment decisions. The result may ultimately be the emergence of personalized medicine as the new standard of care.

The industry is small right now, as genome sequencing has been too expensive and the reward too abstract, for insurance companies to authorize payment of. Experts, however, predict a change in that stance could come sooner than later.

As scientists continue to unlock personalized health predictors from within genomes, and the cost of sequencing continues to drop, the cost-benefit analysis may soon tip in favor of the technology over a lifetime of care. Genome sequencing is rapidly approaching the highly sought after $1,000 cost barrier that experts have pinpointed as the tipping point for the industry.

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