Frequently Asked Questions

Who is The NextGen Test suitable for?

The NextGen Test can be taken by babies, children and young adults, but the major benefit is for newborns. This is because most of the conditions tested for cause problems in the first year of life. There does not need to be a family history of any genetic disorder or disease to be able to benefit from the test.

Is it like the Harmony or Panorama tests?

No. The Harmony and Panorama tests are blood tests performed on the pregnant mother, and are designed to detect three genetic disorders in a baby, including Down syndrome. The NextGen test is performed on the baby after birth, and screens for different conditions.

Is there a Medicare or private health insurance rebate?

The NextGen test is not currently covered by Medicare. Consumers should contact their Private Health Insurance provider to check if they are eligible for any rebate.

Is a Doctor’s referral required for the test?

Parents can order the test online or a doctor can request it on behalf of their patient.

How long do the results take to come back?

Within 4-6 weeks. Parents will be notified once the results have been sent to their doctor.

If I have my baby screened with this test, does that mean they definitely don’t have or won’t develop any of the genetic conditions on the list?

For most of the conditions, a negative result effectively rules out having the condition. For some conditions, a negative result significantly reduces the risk of having the condition but does not rule it out; this is because some conditions have multiple genes that cause the disease and we test for the most common genes associated with the disease but not all the genes.

Does a test like this already exist?

There are similar tests that have been developed overseas but the NextGen Test is the first of its kind that has been developed in Australia and the only test of its type accredited for use in Australia.

Can all of the conditions screened for be treated/cured?

All the conditions have some form of treatment. Some conditions can be cured and some have treatment that prevents complications. A few have treatment that is experimental or supportive care.

If a condition is identified in the screening test, does it count as a ‘pre-existing condition’ for health/life insurance purposes? Am I required to disclose the results in this situation?

Under Australian law, the results of genetic tests cannot be used to influence health insurance. The results of genetic tests along with personal medical history and family medical history may affect the eligibility and premiums of some types of life, disability and trauma insurance.

The real benefit from identifying treatable conditions early should be weighed up against possible insurance implications.

Do the results become a part of the person’s health records?

We recommend that the results of the test are included in the “Blue Book” for babies and added to their health record by their GP.

Could the test be used to confirm paternity of a child?

No. The test has not been designed as a paternity test.

What is the difference between genome sequencing and the NextGen Test?

The NextGen Test looks at specific genes to screen for conditions for which there is treatment available. Whole genome and whole exome tests look at every single gene a person has. There is currently no whole genome or exome test used as a screening test for babies and children in Australia.

What should I do if I accidentally drop the collection swab, or have another problem when collecting the sample?

Discard the kit and contact us. We will send you a replacement kit free of charge.