Here's Why a $25k Physical Could Actually Be a Bargain

Includes DNA sequencing and ... a mini bar?

By Reuben Brody

 
Here's Why a $25k Physical Could Actually Be a Bargain
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14 July 2016

Would you pay $25,000 for a physical?

Actually, let’s come back to that in a sec. Some context first.

Everyone catches a cold or the flu. Happens. And it doesn't take a rocket — er, brain — scientist to diagnose it. But everyone also has pre-existing conditions and sensitivities that are either hereditary (like instances of heart disease or Alzheimer's) or environmental (as in, by-products caused by your unique interactions with the world). And these are the things that are likely to lead to the diseases that’ll kill you or make your life suck.

But now scientists and doctors can use DNA sequencing and genomic research to capture a thorough understanding of your body and use that information to customize treatments and recommend preemptive measures that’ll help you live a long and healthy life.

Health Nucleus in La Jolla, California,  offers a physical that comes with this genomic feedback ... for about $25K.

Consider it the executive suite of physical exams.

Interestingly, the detailed analysis of your DNA is the cheap part, at $1,500. The expense is really in the details of the analysis, which include:

  • A body scan in MRI’s 3-Tesla Magnet custom-made by GE and strong enough that they had to reinforce the walls and floors with copper to keep it from drawing up cars in the garage below. It yields the clearest scan of the body ever.
  • Tests for sleep apnea
  • An ultrasound to determine your carotid intimal thickness
  • Neurocognitive tests
  • An electrocardiogram
  • DNA sequencing of your microbiome (aka gut bacteria)
  • An analysis of your metabolome, which are the chemical and molecular byproducts of your biological and cellular processes (e.g., eating eggs can create chlorine in your body, which leads to high TMAO levels, which leads to heart disease).
  • A 4-D Echocardiogram, up a dimension from the standard 3-D tomographic angiogram
  • And 360-degree images of your body at its current state to create a detailed digital avatar

The place itself is also pretty fancy. You wait in your own private suite with hardwood floors, a minibar, cotton pajamas instead of scrubs, a flatscreen TV and a healthy meal.

While you’re there, they’ll tell you what to avoid and outline treatments to get started on in the event you do end up with a disease or illness. The peace of mind will allay stressors, and in eight weeks you’ll have the final feedback in a digital report you can share with your doctor.

Given that treatments for big diseases like cancer can run upwards of $10K a month, this sort of information could potentially save you a ton of money, not to mention plenty of pain and suffering.

So, we ask again, would you pay $25K for physical?

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