Healthcare’s High-Tech Future: Part One

Part I

Until the 1940’s, doctors made house calls to patients, treating colds and flus, delivering babies, even performing surgeries. It was also a time when companies began offering health benefits in order to compete for workers. With the high cost of house calls and the benefits of treating multiple patients, doctors started seeing patients more and more in their offices and hospitals. The current model of healthcare was established and for the most part, was structured to fit within the confines of medical plans. That paradigm is making a huge shift with the advancement of many technologies, and in many ways, is becoming more personalized.

Skinny Jeans or Skinny Genes?

Skinny jeans may be in style, but getting into them may be a challenge. While over 65% of Americans are overweight or obese, the problem is more than an issue of wardrobe. Overweight and obese Americans are roughly 35 or more pounds over a healthy weight with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 and above. Obesity is a major public health concern that increases the risk of a myriad of health-related problems. With type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and sedentary habits on the rise – better health and lifestyle changes are essential.

The Age of Looking Better; Beautiful Skin from Within

The latest advances in personalized skincare are here – and it’s about time! In the past, great lengths were taken to look healthy and beautiful. The Hollywood actresses from the early-to-mid 1900’s were known to go to extremes in the name of a youthful look. For example, they used intricate facial contraptions to stop facial sagging in order to fight the ravages of aging. The battle of wrinkles, sun damage, and redness is a real one. And the multi-billion dollar beauty industry thrives on the sale of remedies for these conditions.

Food as Medicine, Mediterranean Style

People love food. It’s a fact, we love to eat. Food and eating can mean so many things—it’s nurturing, pleasurable, fun, communal, comforting. It signifies culture, community, tradition and family. But what is food really all about?

For many Americans, food has become something more than what it is intended to be—nourishment and fuel. Properties of food have been shaped into chemical compounds that may taste good but have little if any nutritional value. Salt, sugar, fat and artificial colors and additives are processed into foods to make them more appealing, have a longer shelf life and cheaper to produce. Some of these foods shouldn’t even be called food at all! In fact, junk food is the opposite of what food should be; whole, real, grown and raised humanely. It may taste good, but it has little to no nutritional value and can add a lot of calories to your daily intake.

Obesity, Genes and Aging….Overlapping Magisterium?

A new finding by the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits, or GIANT, consortium has identified 97 gene regions associated with obesity, tripling the number of such genes previously known.

Despite this strong influence of genes in obesity, the environment can play as strong a part. It is estimated that 40 to 70 percent of the variation in obesity is caused by genetics. The remaining 30 to 60 percent can be attributed to the environment you live in.

There is now clear evidence that variants of genes such as APOA2, FTO, PPARg, FOXO, KLOTHO, DRD4 and others directly interact with micronutrients (or insulin) to regulate differing metabolism effects, and subsequently can tip individuals over to an obesogenic phenotype depending on environmental factors such as type of food consumed or eating behaviors (DRD4).

Pathway Genomics’ Response to FDA Letter on CancerIntercept™ Detect

Pathway Genomics greatly respects and shares the FDA’s concerns about patient safety. We have received a letter from FDA, dated September 21, 2015, requesting certain information regarding the Pathway Genomics CancerIntercept™ Detect testing service. We are carefully considering the concerns of the FDA as stated in their letter, and we will be responding to that letter. We assure that there is physician involvement in the ordering, review and follow-up of CancerIntercept™ testing. We believe that CancerIntercept™ Detect is a laboratory developed test and, as a CLIA and CAP certified clinical laboratory, we are offering it as such. While Pathway Genomics is involved in educating and marketing the tests to physicians and consumers, we do not believe this is a direct-to-consumer model. We believe we have performed appropriate validation of the test as a laboratory developed test, and we are in the process of performing additional studies.

Ask the Expert: An Interview with a Pathway Genomics’ Registered Dietitian

Dietician

SAN DIEGO, Apr 29, 2015  — Mandy Kenyon, MS, RD, CSSD, is Pathway Genomics’ Registered Dietitian and played a major role in developing the customized diet plans that are part of tests such as Pathway Fit. Mandy is available to answer nutrition- and diet-related questions for Pathway’s clients and customers—contact her at rd@pathway.com.

Mandy recently shared a couple of the most common questions she receives in her work as a dietitian, as well as her responses:

Q: I have a healthy diet, no history of heart disease in my family, and I am overweight but not obese—do I really need to exercise?

A: Absolutely. Being overweight (a BMI of 25.0–29.9) can have consequences, such as an increased risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and type II diabetes. Exercise can reduce these risks, and may improve both your current and future health by lessening the chance of complications later on.

Ask The Expert: An Interview with a Pathway Genomics Counselor

Leslie

SAN DIEGO, Apr 17, 2015  — Leslie Ordal, M.Sc., a field genetic counselor at Pathway Genomics, answers some frequently asked questions:

Are all genetic changes harmful?

No. In fact, everyone has genetic changes – it’s why we’re all different. Some genetic changes, called pathogenic variants, can be harmful to an individual, and in some cases, to their children if passed down.

Many other genetic changes; however, are quite common and have no known effect on health – we call these benign variants, and they’re just part of natural human variation. Some genetic changes can even be beneficial, such as those associated with reduced risk for certain diseases like Alzheimer disease.