Helix DNA 2024 Recenzija

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  • Podrijetlo
  • Zdravlje & Wellness
Napisao Moss Stern 11. ožujka 2020.
  • Podrijetlo
  • Zdravlje & Wellness

Helix Overview: Many Specialized Reports to Choose From

Helix Population Genomics utilizes exome sequencing as its DNA analysis method, which delves deeply into the protein-coding region of the genome. This comprehensive approach provides valuable insights into ancestry, potential health considerations, carrier status for genetic conditions, and physical traits. The key question to consider is whether Helix’s use of exome sequencing leads to more robust and informative reports. In this review, we will explore the specifics to evaluate whether the additional testing costs are justified.

How Helix DNA Works

Helix sends you a kit so that you can collect and send in a one-time saliva sample for DNA analysis. The kit contains everything you need to put your DNA “on-file” for future reports, such as the add-on ancestry report.

Helix Review

Note that you can only order Helix test kits in the United States.

Helix’s Ancestry Test

People take ancestry DNA tests to discover the ethnicities of their ancestors, where they lived, and how they migrated around the globe. Helix’s only test of this kind is called Helix Ancestry.

Helix Ancestry

Helix Review

This test explores your ancestors’ ethnic roots, broken down into 26 global regions within eight broad geographic regions: East Asia, Europe, Indigenous America, Arctic, Oceania, Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. It tells you the percentages of these ethnicities reflected in your DNA.

The report offers intriguing insights based on your detected genetic traits. For instance, it can reveal whether you possess genetic adaptations for high altitudes, a characteristic often found in individuals of Tibetan descent, or for survival in Arctic conditions.

Additionally, you can gain practical knowledge about your likelihood of being lactose intolerant, your capacity for metabolizing fat akin to the Inuit, or your resistance to malaria.

To access this complimentary report, you need to first undergo one of the wellness tests, which I’ll discuss next, so that Helix has your DNA information on record.

How Helix Population Genomics Compares to Other Companies

When exploring genetic testing options, it’s helpful to compare different providers. The following table compares Helix Population Genomics with two of its major competitors, AncestryDNA and MyHeritage DNA. It highlights key features such as genetic testing options, ancestry analysis, health traits analysis, pricing, sample collection methods, processing time, privacy policies, and more.

Features Helix Population Genomics AncestryDNA MyHeritage DNA
Genetic Testing Yes Yes Yes
Ancestry Analysis Yes Yes Yes
Health Traits Analysis Yes No No
Carrier Status Testing No No No
Pharmacogenomics No No No
Raw Data Access Yes Yes Yes
Sample Collection Saliva or Cheek Swab Saliva Cheek Swab
Test Processing Time Varies (usually a few weeks) Varies (usually 6-8 weeks) Varies (usually 3-4 weeks)
Price Range $80 – $500 $99 – $149 $79 – $199
Privacy Policy Comprehensive privacy protections Comprehensive privacy protections Comprehensive privacy protections
Customer Support Available Available Available
Insurance Coverage Typically not covered Typically not covered Typically not covered

Pricing: Possibly Worth It

Helix accepts payments via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and most other credit cards.

Most of Helix’s DNA tests are more expensive than similar ones from other companies, which could be because of its exome sequencing approach (rather than the more usual genotyping).

While Helix doesn’t provide many free tests initially, existing customers can access three tests at no cost. Moreover, after your initial purchase, you gain discounted rates on most other tests, sometimes as low as 10% of the list price!

Exome sequencing is capable of identifying genetic variants in all of an individual’s genes, even extremely rare ones found in only a few people. If this capability extends to detecting gene variants for rare Mendelian diseases, the higher cost may indeed be justified – especially for the initial test.

Podrijetlo
kit
Ancestry
  • Rezultati su podijeljeni u 26 regionalnih grupa
  • Otkrijte imate li određene gene
  • Dostupan je poseban test za utvrđivanje vaših neandertalskih predaka

Customer Support: You Need to Be Specific

Helix’s self-support resources are provided in the form of a searchable Help Center populated with articles arranged into various categories. The accompanying chatbot always appears to be offline, but maybe I’ve just been unlucky.

Helix Review

If the self-support resources don’t answer your questions, you can call the company or fill out the “Contact Customer Support” form. I submitted an initial question to ask about whether the reports were worth the cost, and the support agent responded with a somewhat generic answer.

I asked a second question about the availability of tests internationally. This time, I received a more targeted response:

Helix Review

See Helix Deals

Higher Prices for Better Insights (and Some Free Stuff)

One of Helix’s key selling points is its use of exome sequencing rather than genotyping, which means that – theoretically – it could discover predispositions to rare genetic diseases that other companies’ DNA tests don’t detect. I can’t be sure that it does, and since I’m unlikely to be one of those rare cases, I’d personally prefer to take my chances with one of the other testing companies that cost less.

It is true to say that Helix goes into greater detail than most of its competitors in certain areas. For example, its CarrierCheck tests your carrier status for 67 different conditions. Likewise, the GenePrism: Actionable Insights report includes genetic risks for 32 diseases.

If you do decide to make the purchase, remember that getting your genome sequenced via one of Helix’s expensive tests also entitles you to free additional reports for Ancestry and Wellness (including one specifically for Women’s Wellness). Be sure to put these in your cart for better value-for-money.

See Helix Deals

FAQ

How accurate is Helix?

Helix is adequate in terms of accuracy. However, it can’t yet compare to some of the bigger names on the market, e.g., 23andMe and AncestryDNA. That’s in part due to its database size, which is comparably much smaller.

How long does it take to receive results from a Helix test?

Approximately 1-2 months.

How much does a Helix test cost? (Any discounts?)

Most of Helix’s DNA products are on the more expensive side of the pricing spectrum (144,99 $) than what you’d get from similar companies. That’s probably due to the testing methodology it uses (exome sequencing approach). On the bright side, however, Helix does offer three tests for free if you’re a customer already. After an initial purchase, you can also access most other tests at a discounted rate (sometimes at just 10% of the list price).

Who should consider taking a Helix test?

Given that Helix uses exome genome sequencing, which (in theory) can discover predispositions to rare genetic diseases better than other methods, you should consider this company if you’re willing to take a calculated risk with a company that may provide you with better health screening than some of the bigger names out there, like 23andMe. At the very least, keep it in mind if you’re looking for a lot of detail, because Helix definitely ticks that box.

Helix’s Health and Wellness Tests

These tests aim to help you identify your genetic risks for certain diseases or your carrier status for conditions you could pass on to your children. They can also help you identify wellness issues to do with things like sleep, caffeine consumption, and stress. Since these are considered to be genetic “traits,” some of them can be found in the Ancestry & Traits section of Helix’s website (rather than the Health section).

GenePrism: Actionable Insights

This test (by PerkinElmer Genomics) tells you if you’re at elevated genetic risk of disease, so that you can make more informed health decisions for you and your family. It features:

  • Tests for 32 inherited cancers, heart disease, and other health conditions
  • Actionable advice on disease prevention and early detection
  • Access to a genetic counselor at no additional cost

Mayo Clinic GeneGuideTM

This test can tell you how genetics can affect your health, disease risk, and carrier status. However, not everyone will qualify. You need to first submit a health questionnaire to be approved by a PWNHealth physician before your test is ordered. The report features:

  • Personalized insights and interactive tools
  • Four disease risk reports; four carrier status reports
  • Your response to certain medications (e.g., Ibuprofen metabolism)
  • The authority of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic
  • The ability to build a family tree, to document your relatives’ health history

CarrierCheck

This test assesses your carrier status for 67 inherited conditions, which is a lot more than most other companies’ carrier tests. This is great if you’re planning to start a family and want to be proactive about your child’s health. The report features:

  • Access to educational resources, to learn more about the tested conditions
  • Access to genetic counselors who can answer your questions

Heart Start

The test provides detailed insights into your genetic risk for cardiovascular disease, and it tells you what you can do about it. It features:

  • Blood-based lab testing as well as genetic analysis from your saliva sample
  • Measurements of total lipid amounts and fatty acids, plus markers of inflammation, to give a comprehensive look at your heart health
  • Telephone consultations and lab appointments to suit your schedule

Note that this test requires you to get your blood drawn as well as submitting a saliva sample.

Prostate Cancer Genetic Risk Score  

This test is intended to measure your lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer. Please note that only males of African American, East Asian, and Non-Hispanic White ethnic backgrounds are able to order this test. You’ll need to first submit a health questionnaire to determine if you are eligible. The test features:

  • Assessment of multiple genetic markers to calibrate your risk profile
  • Guidance on making more informed decisions about screening
  • Access to genetic counseling

See Helix Deals

Similar Test Kits Available

  • Living DNA offers individual tests and a combined wellbeing and ancestry kit, which looks into your nutritional and exercise profile, including a full vitamin report.
  • LetsGetChecked has tons of individual health tests on offer, looking at everything from hormone levels and thyroid management to STDs.
  • 23andMe assesses your genetic risk for 13 common diseases and your carrier status for 44 congenital conditions. Its test explores traits related to sleep, weight, muscle composition, and more, and it comes with a very detailed ancestry report.

Possibly Worth the Price for Exome Sequencing

Helix accepts payments via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and most other credit cards.

Most of Helix’s DNA tests are more expensive than similar ones from other companies, which could be because of its exome sequencing approach (rather than the more usual genotyping).

However, Helix does offer three tests for free, if you are already a Helix customer. After an initial purchase, you can also access most other tests at a discounted rate (sometimes at just 10% of the list price)!

Exome sequencing can identify the genetic variants in all of an individual’s genes, including very rare genetic variants that are only present in a small number of individuals. If this means it can pick up the gene variants for a rare Mendelian disease, it may well be worth paying the high price – at least for the first test.

Podrijetlo
kit
Ancestry
  • Rezultati su podijeljeni u 26 regionalnih grupa
  • Otkrijte imate li određene gene
  • Dostupan je poseban test za utvrđivanje vaših neandertalskih predaka

Support Is Satisfactory If You Ask a Specific Question

Helix’s self-support resources are provided in the form of a searchable Help Center populated with articles arranged into various categories. The accompanying chatbot always appears to be offline, but maybe I’ve just been unlucky.

Helix Review

If the self-support resources don’t answer your questions, you can call the company or fill out the “Contact Customer Support” form. I submitted an initial question to ask about whether the reports were worth the cost, and the support agent responded with a somewhat generic answer.

I asked a second question about the availability of tests internationally. This time, I received a more targeted response:

Helix Review

See Helix Deals

Higher Prices for Better Insights (and Some Free Stuff)

One of Helix’s key selling points is its use of exome sequencing rather than genotyping, which means that – theoretically – it could discover predispositions to rare genetic diseases that other companies’ DNA tests don’t detect. I can’t be sure that it does, and since I’m unlikely to be one of those rare cases, I’d personally prefer to take my chances with one of the other testing companies that cost less.

It is true to say that Helix goes into greater detail than most of its competitors in certain areas. For example, its CarrierCheck tests your carrier status for 67 different conditions. Likewise, the GenePrism: Actionable Insights report includes genetic risks for 32 diseases.

If you do decide to make the purchase, remember that getting your genome sequenced via one of Helix’s expensive tests also entitles you to free additional reports for Ancestry and Wellness (including one specifically for Women’s Wellness). Be sure to put these in your cart for better value-for-money.

See Helix Deals

FAQs

How accurate is Helix?

Helix is adequate in terms of accuracy. However, it can’t yet compare to some of the bigger names on the market, e.g., 23andMe and Ancestry DNA, when in this area. That’s in part due to its database size, which is comparably much smaller.

How long does it take to receive results from a Helix test?

Approximately 1-2 months.

How does Helix compare to other DNA testing competitors?

Helix performs exome sequencing on your DNA sample. This is a technology that charts the entire protein-coding region of your genome. In theory, this type of sequencing should provide a more detailed and nuanced perspective on your DNA.

How much does a Helix test cost? (Any discounts?)

Most of Helix’s DNA products are on the more expensive side of the pricing spectrum than what you’d get from similar companies. That’s probably due to the testing methodology it uses (exome sequencing approach). On the bright side, however, Helix does offer three tests for free if you’re a customer already. After an initial purchase, you can also access most other tests at a discounted rate (sometimes at just 10% of the list price).

Who should consider taking a Helix test?

Given that Helix uses exome genome sequencing , which (in theory) can discover predispositions to rare genetic diseases better than other methods, you consider this company if you’re willing to take a calculated risk with a company that may provide you with better health screening than some of the bigger names out there, like 23andMe. At the very least, keep it in mind if you’re looking for a lot of detail, because Helix definitely ticks that box.

Ocjenjujemo dobavljače na temelju rigoroznog testiranja i istraživanja, ali također uzimamo u obzir vaše povratne informacije i naše komercijalne ugovore s pružateljima usluga. Ova stranica sadrži partnerske veze. Learn more.
Moss Stern
Moss Stern
Autor
Moss Stern profesionalni je pisac, amaterski glazbenik, proždrljivi čitatelj fantastike, rekreativni biciklist, oštroumni igrač Scrabblea i veseli štreber sa posebnim interesom za zdravlje i znanost. Trenutno živi u blizini Philadelphije, Pennsylvania, SAD.

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