23andMe has launched a new tool to gauge someone's risk of developing severe COVID-19 if infected with the virus, Bloomberg reports.
It notes that the tool, dubbed the COVID-19 Severity Calculator, builds on a COVID-19 study the company began last April. Bloomberg says that study has now encompassed 10,000 participants who tested positive for the coronavirus, 750 of whom were hospitalized.
According to 23andMe, its COVID-19 Severity Calculator relies on non-genetic factors like height and weight, age, and other health conditions to model risk. "We quickly published the results and sought ways to help people benefit more directly from the research," Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe's CEO tells Bloomberg. "We've found giving people actionable information — like this tool — drives meaningful results."
Bloomberg notes that the tool does not currently rely on personal genetic data, but that as more research is conducted, that information may also be folded into the calculator. It further adds that the calculator expands 23andMe's offerings of actionable health tools at a time when genetic testing kit sales have fallen.