Genetics testing company expands services in UAE

Just4Me Genetics is expanding the medical choices available to UAE residents by rolling out services involving genetic testing and predictive screening for various types of conditions.

Just4Me Genetics, a product of JFM Healthcare LLC, moved its head offices to Dubai in 2015. Now it's offering genetic tests for cancer, neurology and hematology, as well as various types of birth and pediatric tests. This includes a screen test called Recombine that screens for various birth defects or physical and mental disabilities at birth. Recombine is used in conjunction with IVF services.

By offering a panel of over 240 tests, Just4Me Genetics is enhancing the health care options available to residents.

“Genetic testing can give incredible insights into a person's health and our aim to is make these innovations more accessible through an easy and affordable pricing scheme, especially in the Middle East region where there are higher rates of inherited disorders such as alpha and beta thalassemia, cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy, to name a few.'' Just4Me Genetics founder Bruno Rosset said.

Mike Toney, the author of "Liberty of Nations: 10 Ways to Make America More Safe and Secure," holds a master's degree in international business and spent time in the Gulf region as a member of the U.S. military.

“Medicine in general is headed toward unique and customized solutions.” Toney told the Gulf News Journal on Friday.

However, Toney also pointed out that according to the press releases on the service rollout, although Just4Me Genetics is headquartered in Dubai, the tests will go to San Francisco and Oxford, as well as locations in Germany and Cyprus, which results in turnaround times of three to four weeks for those in the UAE.

Toney also spoke about the issues involved in delivering this type of service in a country that has a national medical plan.

“If they have a social medicine program, that has a vested interest in identifying genetic markers and at-risk populations.” Toney said.

Still, he said, a national health care program could also open the doors for genetic testing to be used in new oppressive and authoritarian ways.

“The other scary side of it is opening up a ‘Pandora’s box’ with the technology.” Toney said, considering scenarios where the risk of genetic problems might lead policy. “Only time is going to tell what people will do with this. … Do we create a caste system? Can you imagine the government saying – ‘you can’t have this baby?’”

In the end, Toney said, people need to be vigilant about the uses to which genetic testing is put in Dubai or anywhere else.

As for the lack of local testing procedures, Toney cited inadequate trained personnel as a possible cause.

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Just4Me Genetics

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