Could genetic testing help thwart the opioid crisis?

Why some people become addicted to oopiods and some do not has become somewhat of a mystery in the medical community. But the story is familiar; patient gets prescribed an opioid pain killer, and by the end of their course of treatment, they have developed a dependency (knowingly or not). But what if a genetic test could signal whether a person is more likely to develop an addiction, and therefore at higher risk from the moment they enter the doctor’s office?

That’s exactly what the medical analytics company Prescient Medicine has set out to do with their LifeKit Test- a genetic test that determines within 97% sensitivity how addictive your genetic response to opioids will be. Using an algorithm they developed based on genes that signal addiction in neural pathways, they give each test subject a score out of 100, with anything 52 or higher showing an elevated risk of addiction.


Perhaps LifeKit and advancements in genetic testing could be the preventative measure needed to stop this national health crisis, and even aid with substance abuse of all kinds. As genetic testing becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous, it may arm doctors with the knowledge to offer alternatives that could saves millions of lives.


HIV Test on a Phone Goes Global


Mobile Aids Test in one hour diagnosis.

This represents the forefront of the mobile/pharma intersection being pushed even further. This story speaks to a chip being able to be used to insert a drop of blood into a phone, and used to diagnose if that person has AIDS/HIV, in an hour, and to use it on a global scale for a fraction of current testing costs.

Why It’s Hot

Mobile as a tool for pharma marketers has even more opportunity, now that patients can be given test results via their phone, especially for conditions as challenging as HIV/Aids, for new diagnoses or managing current conditions.  This also speaks to the ability to generate much larger data sets, and to scale programs even further by individualizing outbound messaging and acquisition through the phone.