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Mapmygenome Vs Covid-19: Will Gene Mapping Unlock The Indian Healthcare Potential?

Mapmygenome Vs Covid-19: Will Gene Mapping Unlock The Indian Healthcare Potential?

Covid-19 changed everything for Mapmygenome, which had to quickly review the scope of its gene panel tests for coronavirus-related immunity tests

Founder Anu Acharya says reassessing its core proposition allowed Mapmygenome to expand its private Covid-19 testing and take steps towards identifying crucial genetic markets for immunity

The data inequality in the genetic and genomic data points for Indian individuals is a major gap for gene tech startups looking to take Indian healthcare into the 21st century and beyond

In early May, a study published in the European Heart Journal said that while Covid-19 and the SARS CoV-2 virus infects a wide age group, it is predominantly seen in elderly individuals, especially men and those with cardiovascular disease. The study found that men have higher levels of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in the blood, which helps the virus infect cells faster, thereby leaving men more vulnerable to the coronavirus.

The study was part of a diverse range of gene-centric research from across the world. Never before have the medical scientists of the world come together to fight something as one. But research takes time and scientific breakthroughs are much a result of trial and error as it is of brilliant minds.

“Because it is the first time [Covid-19], I think there have been a lot of missteps from everyone. A lot of resources have been drained out at all ends. I hope we can really take the learnings, document for the future and relook at the power centres,” says Anu Acharya.

The Mapmygenome cofounder recalls that even as India was only reading about the disease in January and February when the first cases were reported, the company decided to enter the preparation stage. “We told the team that we need to start preparing for and analysing our data to help our customers understand how to prevent themselves and build immunity from this virus,” added Acharya.