23andMe – 16 Days Door to Results

On August 16th, I put kits for both Ancestry and 23andMe in the mail.

On August 21st, I received an e-mail from Ancestry telling me that my sample had arrived in their lab and that I could expect results in 6 to 8 weeks.  That’s mid to late October.

On August 24th, I received an e-mail from 23andMe telling me that my sample had arrived in their lab and that I could expect results in 2-3 weeks.  Only 7 days later, I received another e-mail that my results were ready.  In total, 16 days door to computer, and only 7 days in the lab.  That’s pretty amazing.

This kit was an upgrade from the first kits they had issued.  This new kit was required for their new platform and one test in particular that I was interested in – the Alzheimer’s genetic susceptibility.

I’m very happy to report that I’m less than half as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than the general population. I’m sure my kids will be relieved to hear that too.  Now if I could just remember where I put  the phone, I’d call them and tell them:)

There are a couple of things I do think 23andMe could do a little differently.

1.  I would like to have known what, other than the Alzheimer’s risk, was available to me on the new platform that wasn’t previously.  There was no notification and had I not specifically known to look for the Alzheimer’s risk, I would have had no idea what I had received for my money.

2.  Every time I sign in, they default to my daughter’s account which I manage.  Now I love my daughter, but I want my account to default to, well, my account.

3.  Finding the genealogy pieces of their offering is not at all straightforward.  For example, where is the link to download raw results located?  Just try to find it.  Go ahead.  And I know that the reason I can’t ever find it has nothing to do with Alzheimer’s.  Actually, I have the link saved because wherever they’ve hidden it, they did a fine job.

4.  I would surely love to see a “genealogy dashboard” for those of us who are so inclined.  I think that would help with finding things and general friendliness of their site.  I thought I saw something at one time in this vein, but if it’s there, well, I can’t find it.

One thing I noticed that I really like is the section under “23andMe” and then “Research Discoveries.”  As customers, we take surveys and based on those surveys, they look for genetic similarities between those who do and don’t have the trait or conditions in question.  On this page, they list their discoveries and tell you whether one of the surveys you took was involved.  It made me feel good to know that I had contributed in a meaningful way.

And just for the record, in case you were wondering, no, I do not have back hair:)

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