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Business

Yahoo Japan to use genetic data in health consulting service

TOKYO -- Yahoo Japan will begin a health consulting service that incorporates genetic data to provide a more complete picture of a person's well-being.

     The company will let people request a gene analysis kit online, asking them to send back a saliva sample. The genetic information will then be combined with data collected daily using a smartphone, such as blood pressure, pulse rate and hours of sleep, so that Yahoo Japan can dispense advice on diet and exercise, for example, for a healthier lifestyle.

     The firm will partner with genetic analysis firm GeneQuest to offer the service starting next month, first on a trial basis before being expanded as early as this summer. Yahoo Japan hopes to attract 10,000 users initially. Fees have yet to be decided, but the company may set them low to encourage people to sign up.

     Yahoo Japan also plans to create a business by using the genetic information, which will potentially provide clues to likely side effects to medication and help those suffering from an illness to seek optimal treatment. The firm will keep the data anonymous and share it with health care institutions for development of new drugs and treatments.

     To protect users' privacy, Yahoo Japan will become a member of the Council for Protection of Individual Genetic Information, a nonprofit organization, and abide by its guidelines.

(Nikkei)

 

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