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Simone Gibertoni CEO, Clinique la Prairie

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he future of wellness is based on genetics. Soon there will be no ‘standard’ detox or wellness programmes. Instead, they’ll be customised according to genetic tests. We chose to partner with Gene Predictis (GP) because of its expertise. It’s tests are based on the most recent validated knowledge in the field of health and genetics and proprietary algorithms. GP developed genetic testing panels specifically for Clinique La Prairie, which launched in December. A saliva swab is sent to the GP labs for DNA analysis and in three days a personalised report giving an overview of inherited risk factors is made available to our doctors for review and health recommendations.

The future of wellness is based on genetics. Soon there will be no ‘standard’ detox or wellness programmes

Our physicians, who have also been trained by GP scientists, can identify risks of developing certain diseases, for which a treatment or preventive care is available. In addition, they can help by giving guidance on how to improve quality of life by focusing on things like nutrition, stress reduction, better sleep etc.

The genetic test has been added to our renowned Revitalisation programmes and the Master Detox programme, and will soon be integrated into Weight Management offering and maybe more programmes in the future. Prices for these all-inclusive, multi-night packages start at CHF14,900 (US$14.7k). So far clients are keen and very impressed that they can get such personalised medical information and advice. I’d say the main success of our DNA tests is that they promote an increased awareness for prevention

and give greater motivation to adopt a better lifestyle. Recently we had a patient who was hesitating in doing further cardiological investigations, even though the medical consultations indicated a need for it. But when his DNA results showed an increased genetic risk for heart attack, he decided to go further into preventive care. ■■Gibertoni joined Switzerland’s Clinique La Prairie in 2016. He’s worked in the luxury, cosmetics and industrial sectors for 20-plus years

Mary Huddleston Tabacchi professor emerita, Cornell University

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can see a number of advantages and disadvantages to spas offering DNA testing, for both the consumer and operators. Tests usually only require a saliva sample, which is easy to collect, and spas could be seen as a one-stop shop for this kind of service (instead of going to the doctors). This will allow customers to find out about health markers they otherwise might never have known about. Offering DNA testing could help set the spa apart from other facilities, increase their standing as a wellness provider and even increase occupancy. But there are potential downsides too, of course. Important psychological factors must be taken into

Spas might have to consider extra personnel costs and insurance against potential misinterpretation

consideration. Is it the place of a spa practitioner to deliver certain kinds of results and what kind of impact might that have on them psychologically – for better or worse? On the other hand, they are the best placed to help clients achieve the lifestyle modifications that might be needed.

There’s also a debate that DNA blood samples may have less impurities than saliva. If blood is to be taken, it’s likely that the spa will have to employ a phlebotomist. Who will interpret the findings? Will there be a need for a doctor on the premises? And how will the spa protect the privacy of the information? The added costs could end up outweighing the extra revenue these tests bring. Spas might have to consider extra personnel costs, more space, and increased insurance

against potential mistakes or misinterpretation. In addition, while personalised nutritional approaches may be a step in the right direction, few scientific organisations believe we even have enough current genetic information to assist in diet effectiveness. It’s clearly a complex matter. ■■Huddleston Tabacchi has a PhD in biochemical nutrition, biostatistics, and a specialist knowledge of the global spa industry

spabusiness.com issue 2 2019 57

Profile for Leisure Media

Spa Business issue 2 2019  

Spa Business issue 2 2019