(Bloomberg) -- Ancestry.com LLC, known for its DNA tests that allow customers to explore their family trees, told customers it plans to offer genetic screening for health problems as well.

“We’ve seen adding this capability as a natural evolution, but only if we could do it in a way that was authentic to our core mission,” Chief Executive Officer Margo Georgiadis wrote in an email that landed in customers’ inboxes beginning on Thursday. “That would mean creating a solution that could enable our customers to gain meaningful insights to help them live longer, healthier lives.”

She said AncestryHealth would be available to customers soon, without specifying a date.

The company has long been expected to make a move into genetic testing for health conditions. Its biggest competitor, 23andMe Inc., first gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration two years ago. In recent months, Ancestry has posted a flurry of job openings for health-related positions, including a chief medical officer.

Ancestry has two options for entering the market: endure the lengthy and expensive process of gaining approval from the FDA for its tests, as 23andMe has, or offer screening that must be ordered by a physician, as companies such as Color do.

“Our goal is to help you and your family understand your risks so that you are empowered with the information and connections you need to make better, more informed decisions about your health,” Georgiadis wrote in her email.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristen V. Brown in San Francisco at kbrown340@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Drew Armstrong at darmstrong17@bloomberg.net, Timothy Annett

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