Employees will now be offered discounted DNA tests as part of the health and wellbeing package being launched by Aetna International.
These will be optional tests and Aetna stressed that no personal data is shared with employers, or used for underwriting or pricing purposes.
These DNA tests will not be designed to reveal family trees but instead be focused on fitness, sleep, stress and ’nutrigenomics’ — the relationship between what we eat and a biochemical response.
Aetna says that it hopes this personalised information will support lifestyle changes for those who want to improve their overall health.
Aetna International senior vice president, customer proposition, Caroline Pain says individuals are increasingly taking a proactive approach to health. “It’s now possible to take a highly targeted approach to holistic wellbeing, with hyper-personalised and predictive health care.”
She adds: “Genetic health and lifestyle testing is at the point of being mainstream, but there are a number of areas in which responsible providers need to tread carefully.
“Privacy is one, quality of tests is another, and knowing how to reliably interpret results is a third. Our members have the reassurance that all three are taken care of, and that we’re working with them to ensure they stay in optimum health.”
Employers that are starting or renewing their contract with Aetna International can purchase the DNA kit for employees as an add-on product. The test consists of a simple mouth swab, and is available for scheme of 10 employees or more at a subsidised price of £75 per person.
The test is in the form of a swab, which is sent to a certified UK lab for analysis.Members are then notified by email when their test has been processed, and can log in to a digital portal to explore and download their results.
Aetna says one of the main differentiators of this service from other providers is the quantity and quality of post-test support available.
Members can book a consultation appointment with an expert in nutrition and fitness to discuss changes they may like to make to their lifestyle. Later on, follow-up help and assistance can also be accessed from a number of the company’s wellbeing and behavioural health resources, including health coaching, an employee assistance programme and vHealth, the virtual health care service.