Aetna launches DNA testing for European members
Aetna in May 2019 announced the launch of DNA testing as an optional part of its wellness plans for its European members.
The DNA test examines aspects of health and lifestyle, in particular nutrigenomics (the relationship between genes, nutrition and health), fitness, sleep and stress. The goal of the DNA testing is to help members take control of their health and support them to make positive lifestyle changes.
Employers in the EU with 10 or more employees are now able to purchase DNA kits as part of their new or renewed contract for a launch price of £75 per person (the kit usually costs £150). During DNA testing a mouth swab is taken which is then sent to a certified lab in the UK for analysis. In order to proceed with testing, employees must register their kit and provide consent online. Once their test has been analyzed, they will receive an email to notify them that their results are available to view via their online portal.
Privacy, quality and reliability of data were reportedly of the utmost concern to Aetna during the innovation process. According to Caroline Pain, Senior Vice-President, Customer Proposition, Aetna International, DNA kit users can rely on the security and confidentiality of their personal health data meaning that no data is shared with either employers or underwriters for pricing purposes. Aetna International also offers follow-up well-being and behavioral health resources. These include health coaching, vHealth (a virtual health service) and an employee assistance program. The health coaching teams provided by Aetna are specifically trained to interpret DNA results and work with employees following their DNA test to discuss possible lifestyle changes to improve their health and well-being.