Sunday, October 30, 2011

Job of the near-future: health advisor

The health advisor is analogous to the financial advisor or mortgage broker that arose last decade when it became possible to trade stocks and get mortgage quotes on the internet. This advisor is familiar with the whole ecosystem of services and service providers in a sector whether finances, home buying and selling, or in this case, personalized health management.

The health advisor designs comprehensive wellness plans that integrate multiple health data streams such as family history, personal health history, genomics, and eventually microbiomic, proteomic and metabolomic profiles. The health advisor would recommend what type of genomic sequencing to sign up for (for example, 23andMe genotyping or Illumina whole human sequencing) and interpret the results and suggest action items. The health advisor would recommend and administer self-tracking programs and gadgets for diet, nutrition, medication and supplementation, exercise, and sleep management. The health advisor would recommend clinical trials or crowdsourced health studies that might be relevant for individuals to join. The health advisor could be compensated with pre-tax HSA (health savings account) dollars or other tax-advantaged funds.

This is a job category of the near future, as health advisor certification programs and wellness coaches are already arising.

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