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Here you will find the answers to frequently asked questions about personalised medicine. Who should have a genetic test? What are the advantages of genetic analysis? What is particularly important in a genetic test? If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us for professional genetic counselling. Contact us.

Why should a patient have a genetic test?

In the following cases, it may make sense to carry out genetic testing. However, decisions are always made on a case-by-case basis:

  • If a patient is already ill and the disease is believed to be genetic in nature.
  • To confirm a diagnosis or to create the conditions for the right therapy.
  • To determine whether a person is a carrier for a hereditary disease with regard to life or family planning.
  • To detect gene mutations in healthy family members with a proven hereditary mutation in order to determine the risk of the disease and recommend appropriate preventive measures based on the findings. Whether genetic testing really makes sense must be determined on a case-by-case basis, and it requires professional genetic advice in advance.

What are the benefits of a genetic analysis?

Precision medicine takes into account the individual genetic requirements of the person and, compared to traditional approaches in medicine, enables personalised and more efficient forms of diagnosis and therapy.

By analysing the human genome and providing professional advice on prevention, early detection and therapy, we improve people's quality of life sustainably and individually based on their unique genetic conditions. The quality of treatment, patient benefit and thus patient satisfaction increase accordingly.

What is particularly important in a genetic test?

Clear questioning is essential for genetic testing. A doctor needs to know exactly what he or she is looking for and always assess the genetic findings in the context of a patient's symptoms. There are various ways of doing this. In addition, every genetic test must be accompanied by genetic counselling.

Is there always an unambiguous result?

The more genes are examined, the greater the probability of encountering an unknown gene variant that has not yet been described. In this case, it is referred to as a variant of unclear clinical significance. We then use different software and tools to try and find out whether it is more of a benign variant or a disease-causing variant. If the finding remains unclear, we recommend re-evaluating it in one to two years, as new findings are constantly being made.

What happens if, by chance, another disease is discovered during a genetic test?

The more genes you investigate, the greater the probability that you will find a pathogenic variant that is not related to the primary clinical question. However, in this case, patients always have the right not to know.

What are the costs for a Hirslanden Precise analysis?

Genetic analyses are covered by compulsory health insurance, provided they are classified as mandatory. According to Article 25, Paragraph 1 KVG, they must be used to diagnose or treat a disease and its consequences. Genetic counselling, like any other medical service, is billed via Tarmed. The tariff for the position «Genetic counselling» corresponds to the basic tariff for a general medical consultation.

How can patients have a genetic analysis done?

The procedure of a genetic test is very easy for patients. In this context, individual advice on genetic counselling before and after a genetic test is very important. In this way, we ensure that mere laboratory analysis does not leads to false conclusions.

Is Hirslanden Precise ethically justifiable?

Yes, because the legal basis alone, which we always use as a guide, is very strict in Switzerland. The aim of the HGTA is to prevent misuse of genetic testing or data and to ensure the quality of genetic testing. The focus is always on every person's right to self-determination. The right to know and not to know is of great importance. The protection of people incapable of judgement – including children – is also extensively regulated. For example, genetic tests may only be carried out on children if the child's health is acutely affected. The situation is different, for example, in the case of hereditary diseases that can only occur in adulthood. ln this case, parents are not allowed to order a genetic test as a precautionary measure to assess the risk. This is only possible when the child becomes capable of judgement and can therefore give his or her own consent.