• It’s a bit disingenuous to say that any lay person can handle interpreting technical medical data. That’s not to say a primary care doctor could necessarily do better on this subject. After taking a look at a series of 1000 MRI slices that positively diagnosed an illness, I can say with confidence I have no clue what it looks like.

    It’ll be pretty cool when companies start getting sued for false positives, since consumers are so good at taking responsibility for themselves nowadays.

  • Ben, 30 years ago they said normal people had no reason to use a personal computer and could not interpret technical computer data. Today they say normal people have no reason to use a personal genome and cannot interpret technical medical data.

    In practice there is a gradation of skills ranging from people who write their own operating systems at home to those who run to the Geek Squad to eject a USB Key.

    The same thing will happen with medicine. Anyone who is capable of learning programming is capable of working with their own genetic data. You do not need a fancy degree. You are not doing surgery. You are looking at bytes on a screen.

    The whole Health 2.0 thing is about getting out of the mode of thinking that a 15 minute trip to the doctor twice a year is going to suffice to taking care of your own health. People have access to their Facebook profiles, and they should definitely have at least read and correct their own medical records.

    Regarding the lawsuit thing, it’s not like they don’t sue doctors for false positives, so that strikes me as a red herring. If anything, forcing a noninvasive saliva test to require a trivial prescription from a primary care physician clueless about genetics is just going to increase medical costs.