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Welfare Genome Project: A Participatory Korean Personal Genome Project With Free Health Check-Up and Genetic Report Followed by Counseling.

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Jeon, Yeonsu 
Jeon, Sungwon 
Blazyte, Asta 
Kim, Yeo Jin 
Lee, Jasmin Junseo 


The Welfare Genome Project (WGP) provided 1,000 healthy Korean volunteers with detailed genetic and health reports to test the social perception of integrating personal genetic and healthcare data at a large-scale. WGP was launched in 2016 in the Ulsan Metropolitan City as the first large-scale genome project with public participation in Korea. The project produced a set of genetic materials, genotype information, clinical data, and lifestyle survey answers from participants aged 20-96. As compensation, the participants received a free general health check-up on 110 clinical traits, accompanied by a genetic report of their genotypes followed by genetic counseling. In a follow-up survey, 91.0% of the participants indicated that their genetic reports motivated them to improve their health. Overall, WGP expanded not only the general awareness of genomics, DNA sequencing technologies, bioinformatics, and bioethics regulations among all the parties involved, but also the general public's understanding of how genome projects can indirectly benefit their health and lifestyle management. WGP established a data construction framework for not only scientific research but also the welfare of participants. In the future, the WGP framework can help lay the groundwork for a new personalized healthcare system that is seamlessly integrated with existing public medical infrastructure.



Korean genome project, genetic report, genomics, integrated healthcare, personal genome project, population study

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Front Genet

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Frontiers Media SA