I wasn’t going to do this again, but I’ve decided to promote Helix’s special discount. It ends at 2:59 AM EDT November 10th. Eight hours from when I push this post.
Obviously, there is a conflict of interest as I work for one of Helix’s partners. What does that mean?
- Helix does an exome+ sequence and stores your data.
- Then, you buy applications which use that data.
- The company I work for is one of the application providers.
- “Exome” means that Helix does a very accurate medical grade sequence of all your genes. The “+” points to the fact that they include a substantial number of positions which are not within genes (in the “junk DNA”). That totals up to 30,000,000+ markers (the exome is 1% of your whole genome). This is not trivial. Current direct-to-consumer genomics companies are looking at 500,000 to 1,000,000 markers with SNP arrays.
- Helix keeps this data. Within a few months, you can buy the data at cost (it won’t be cheap!). But the model is that you buy a la cart apps, which will be affordable (our products are affordable).
I’m laying this all out very plainly because many people are asking me about these details right now as the sale winds down, and this includes people who are pretty savvy about personal genomics. Here is why I think you should get the kits now:
- It gets my company more customers. That’s the self-interested part, and less important for the target audience.
- For you, it gets you an exome that you can buy later without any upfront cost. For the next eight hours, Helix is basically waiving the kit costs by dropping the price $100.
Our Neanderthal product is now $9.99. Our Metabolism product is $19.99. These products are great, as they give you functional information in a very user-friendly manner. But a lot of my readers can analyze their own data, so what’s the incentive then? Again, the incentive is that you get an exome for free, and can later buy it if you want, or, perhaps even a savvy personal genomics consumer will find an app they’ll want to purchase. Normally the kit is $80, so buying it now means you’ll never have to pay this cost. If you are the type of person who has qualms about a private company keeping your data, this may not be for you.
Of course, there are other app developers in the Helix store, so just buy whatever you want. This is a way to get your exome sequenced for free now. I will tell you that the Insitome apps are among the cheapest.
Finally, a lot of people are buying “family-pack” quantities. I got four kits for example for my immediate family. Unfortunately, there are some issues with the Helix site and the extra purchases. You can buy more than one easily at Amazon right now. Our Neanderthal product is not in low stock. The Metabolism product has only a few left, though I don’t know what that means.
Note: The discount is client-side, so you may need to switch browsers if you are going to the Helix site to buy (or turn off ad-block). From what I can see Amazon does not have these issues.