The Quantified Self and the Most Perfect Gift in the Universe

August 22, 2013
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(Editor’s Note: John Nosta writes for Forbes under the heading “Health Critical”)

First off, I have no “genome” in this race.  I’m just an observer with a simple idea.

(Editor’s Note: John Nosta writes for Forbes under the heading “Health Critical”)

First off, I have no “genome” in this race.  I’m just an observer with a simple idea.

From birthdays to holidays, I’ve always struggled with picking the “perfect” gift.  And I’ve run the gamut from over-thought goofy ideas to default gift certificates.  But there’s one that has caught my attention and I think it’s simply perfect.  It’s the $99 genomic test by 23andMe that profiles health, disease and ancestry. For me, there are four central reasons why this makes such great sense.

  • An exacting expression of your “real” quantified self and a practical blueprint of your genetic structure.
  • A real opportunity to potentially impact your health–and the health of your family and friends.
  • The expanded awareness of the role of digital health and the value of genomic analysis to a wider community.
  • The $99 cost.

As much as I like knowing my resting heart rate, blood oxygen level and today’s calorie count, there something more fundamental about my physiology that has always remained in what health care providers mysteriously have called “the cards I have been dealt”.  But today, I can take a closer look and even begin to “stack the deck”.  And while some people may chose to look the other way, many will appreciate this gift of science and the expanding role genomics can play in our lives today and tomorrow. It might be the best gift you have ever given or received.