Health & Fitness | July 13, 2016 9:00 am

For $249, You Could Live Several Extra Years

Color: An at-home genetics test that could save lives

Men are stubborn. (Editor’s note: No we aren’t!)

Especially when it comes to planning. And health. And planning about health.

To combat our intractable nature: Color, an at-home saliva test that’ll take a few minutes of your time … and increase your odds of living a long, productive life by up to 90%.

All for about the price of a nice dinner.

Basically, Color is an early warning detection system for cancer. It analyzes 30 genes for mutations that could increase your risk for hereditary cancers (pancreatic, colorectal, stomach, etc.). How you use this info could help your life immeasurably.

Now, if you’ve been following the Theranos debacle (painless, one-drop blood tests … that didn’t work), you might think this isn’t the time for “disruptive” science. But Color is different. It’s the exact same testing kit that your doctor already has access to, but at about 1/20th the cost ($249) thanks to a combo of scale, smart software and big data.

Plus, you’ll never have to involve your insurance company. Which is good, because those expensive genetics tests aren’t likely to get a quick approval.

“One of our founders saw how difficult it was to get access to genetic testing,” says Color’s Meghan Hughes Marquez. “You have to have a significant family history to get access to those tests.”

With Color, the idea is for a flat fee and a simple test, you can get those results and act on them quickly — which is the key to long-term living (an example: colorectal survival rates after five years are 90% if caught early, but only 13% if caught at an advanced stage).

“We didn’t change the technology or biology. We wanted the software to make it possible for everyone,” adds Marquez, who notes the pedigree of the brand’s founders and consultants (it’s a consortium of medical experts, ex-Googlers, science superstars like Dr. Marie-Claire King and more recently, White House and Twitter alum Katie Jacobs Stanton). “We’re using software to make the testing more accessible and efficient. It’s an intersection of computer science and biology.”

And it’s a cinch to use:

Purchase kit (you’ll need a physician’s approval, either your own or from a stable of doctors in Color’s third-party network). Get a saliva sample. Send back. Wait 3-4 weeks.

Then you’ll receive your results, an explanation, and access to genetic counselors who can guide you through the next steps, further tests or lifestyle changes that can greatly improve your odds of a long, happy life.

For once, take some advice.