Sequencing.com Review – Here are my thoughts..
Though the year is now 2019, nearing our second decade in the new millenium, the evidence of scientific advancement and innovation can be challenging to find. As the old adage goes, modern society has been quite confused as to where our flying cars and moving sidewalks are hiding. However, every now and again you find something that stands up and quite clearly announces how fresh and new it is. Sequencing.com seems to be such a service, an idea that in due time is bound to be something so useful and commonplace it’ll be a wonder none of us thought of it before.
In a Nutshell
The idea is a little complicated, at first. The website itself is laid out more to sell you ideas and give you all of the information you’ll ever need on the subject than it is to give you a concise breakdown of the service. Sequencing.com styles itself as a customer-friendly menu of applications and partners designed to cater to you and your genetic data. Rather than give you one single, all-access service with lengthy mailing times and selective, if broad reports, Sequencing maintains an internal platform used to convert your data into a format easily readable and useable by a multitude of in-house apps hosted in their own database.
The idea is to allow you as a consumer, whether you’ve previously taken a genetics test elsewhere or not, to take the data you’ve received and test them yourself, for the exact metrics you might be interested in. So, customers who are likely to be interested and who may already have DNA testing or reports from outside companies can have their data be made compatible and start shopping right away, allowing them to dig much deeper into areas of their choice and access apps and partner services the first organization wouldn’t be able to provide. All in a handy format, accessible on any device and with an extremely large storefront of desktop apps to choose from.
All-in-all, the service seems handy, accessible, and reliable. The apps vary in price and tend to be somewhat prohibitively expensive, but registration is free, and the apps are full-function programs when purchased, usually allowing you to handle the sequencing and data analysis of a single sample once obtained. Sequencing.com also provides safe access to partnered affiliates for testing, for customers who want additional, potentially more refined genomics tests or who haven’t taken one from outside sources yet. These affiliates include smaller organizations like Toolbox and Silverberry, both of which provide some of the apps in the Sequencing store alongside DNA tech companies like Athletigen and GeneInformed.
How it Works
It starts with a lengthy registration process, which is understandable given the level of consumer tailoring Sequencing uses to both manage your data and provide apps and learning for consumers of all types. The basics range from any previous testing you’ve had to your areas of interest, and the questionnaire notably includes specifics for any non-personal interest in the company you might have, allowing genetics professionals, researchers, and businesses their channels into the company with customized information provided as needed.
Once you’re in, you can have your data converted and start shopping at any time, combing through the impressive number of apps provided to you, complete with sample displays, descriptions, and detailed instructions. The only downside to this wealth of possible apps is a lack of reviews; while the website and service have been given the once-over by countless customers, with occasional reviews of approval or complaints as expected, the apps themselves are thrust into the store without much support from other Sequencing.com customers. All are assumed to be serviceable at a minimum, and they tend towards quality, but it would have still been a nice addition, especially considering the prices on display.
Uploading your converted data is a breeze, and each app has been designed from the ground up to work with the proprietary data system used by the service, so there are no extra complicated steps to take. The areas of interest are all within expected categories, such as the general health and wellness sections, fitness and nutrition, basic information on your data and potential projections for your children, as well as a somewhat lacking general ancestry section. I suppose the store was designed anticipating that customers would have come from much larger ancestry conglomerates, or would choose their larger databases and more extensive heritage plotting instead regardless. Not a major loss, either way.
For the testing provided by Sequencing.com’s partners, the process is industry-standard. Most of the affiliated services provide in-home self-testing services with de facto mailing times, collection standards, and results. The exact pricing varies, but the low end expected cost is around $100 USD and higher, ranging from the expected rates for standard customers to more in-depth results for the hardcore, the extremely curious, or professionals. There’s even an option available for lab testing on-side at a facility in the United States, with a requirement of medical assignment and, of course, a relatively increased cost alongside the travel time.
While the outside testing agencies are themselves businesses with a mixed bag of privacy policies, certifications, and services provided, as partners they are all locked in place by Sequencing.com’s heavy duty confidentials, namely its extensive list of certifications and a very detailed policy with only the expected allowances for government consignment and disclosure. The labs themselves are all certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendments and the CMS service board as compliant, which is a basic but vital requirement. Sequencing.com itself is branded loudly and proudly by several heavy hitters, including the Global Genomics Alliance (GA4GH), HIPAA compliance regulations, and PrivacyShield.
You can test in confidence that your data--or at least, your genetic data--is safe and secure.
Sequencing.com has set out to fill a niche the market hasn’t even developed yet, and it accomplished that goal. There are currently not even very many industries out there with such a well-developed and heavily backed app store, and considering this is also in the burgeoning field of genetics is impressive.
The service is excellent, the apps are worthwhile, and for anyone looking to get the most out of their previous genetic tests or to buy straight into the whole package, it’s honestly hard to recommend anywhere as much as Sequencing.com. For the few downsides the service and its accompanying website have, they’re a dedicated and battle-tested team of scientific professionals networked across the globe with leading partners and top medical researchers to provide the best, and it’s just hard to beat that.
If you’re in the market for any of thousands of possible in-depth looks into your own genetic material and basic ancestry breakdowns just aren’t cutting it, then look no further. The future is now, and finally, we have something to show for it.
9.3/10 - What more can you ask for?