Hayes, Inc. Offers Free Educational Live Webinar on Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests

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December 14th webinar offers guidance on appropriate use of and access to genetic tests marketed to consumers

The ethics and safety of genetic tests marketed directly to consumers came under scrutiny earlier this year after one company mailed inaccurate test results to nearly 100 customers. To provide guidance on the appropriate use of and access to direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests, Hayes, Inc., (http://www.hayesinc.com), an independent health technology research and consulting company, is offering a free educational webinar, “Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests: Boon or Bane?” on Tuesday, December 14, 2010, at 1: PM ET.

The speaker for this 1-hour webinar will be Diane Allingham-Hawkins, Director of the Genetic Test Evaluation Program at Hayes, Inc. since 2008. Dr. Allingham-Hawkins is a board-certified molecular geneticist and cytogeneticist with more than 13 years of experience as a clinical genetics laboratory director. From 2006 to 2009, Dr. Allingham-Hawkins served as vice-chair of the Genetics Committee, Quality Management Program – Laboratory Services (QMP-LS), a division of the Ontario Medical Association. Dr. Allingham-Hawkins has also served as Vice President of the Clinical Doctoral Laboratory Scientists of Ontario (CDLSO) and as President of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists.

“Genetic testing is an extremely complex field,” explains Dr. Allingham-Hawkins. “It’s also growing at an alarming rate. There are currently more than 2,000 genetic tests available on the market, and this number grows by about 25 percent a year. Direct-to-consumer tests have raised a lot of red flags because they are exactly that, direct to consumer. There is no involvement of someone’s doctor to order these tests or interpret the results.”

This webinar is ideal for clinicians such as primary care physicians, nurses, case managers, medical laboratory directors, and others interested in learning more about DTC genetic tests. Hayes, Inc. will offer live updates via Twitter (@HayesInc). To learn more or to register for this webinar, visit http://www.hayesinc.com or contact Hayes, Inc. by telephone at 215.855.0615; by e-mail at educationservices (at) hayesinc (dot) com; or by fax at 215.855.5218. The deadline for registration is close of business on Friday, December 10, 2010.

Hayes, Inc. is dedicated to promoting better health outcomes through the use of evidence. Hayes performs unbiased, evidence-based health technology assessments of the safety and efficacy of new, emerging, and controversial health technologies and evaluates the impact of these technologies on healthcare quality, utilization, and cost. Hayes' worldwide clients include hospitals, healthcare systems, government agencies, employers, and managed care organizations.

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KAREN MATTHIAS
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