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Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing – Bringing a Revolution in Diagnostics and Testing of Health Risk Factors

Owing to the rising number of incidences of genetic and hereditary diseases, the demand for advanced diagnostic and treatment options have increased manifold.

Also, with the advent of precision medicine, the concept of targeted therapeutics has augmented the need to diagnose the root cause of health conditions in individuals and the requirement of accurate medication for treating them.

The growth of precision medicine has improved the awareness among consumers about several diagnostics tests that can enable them to gauge their health conditions in a safe and secure manner.

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing (DTC-GT) enables people to access their genetic information in a safe, secure and quick manner Also, while getting DTC genetic testing done, individuals don’t even have to involve healthcare providers and insurance companies, which makes DTC genetic testing highly cost effective. DTC genetic tests are also known as at-home genetic tests, direct-access genetic tests, and home DNA tests, among others.

At present, multiple types of DNA tests are available in the market and can be broadly classified under ancestry, health and wellness, and entertainment. Under each broad category of the test, different types of tests are included, such as under ancestry, genealogy and relationship tests are included. Genetic health, carrier screening, wellness, pharmacogenomics, and microbes’ tests are classified under health and wellness test category. Lastly, fitness, nutrition, and phenotypic traits are the tests included under the entertainment tests.

The health tests conducted by DTC genetic testing provide estimates to people regarding the risk of suffering from certain diseases such as celiac, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases. Some companies deliver carrier status of individuals for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease. Carriers are individuals in which two copies of gene mutations are present, that can also lead to genetic disorders.

The ancestry tests can provide information regarding the ancestors of the individual, their ethnicity, and their origins. The kinship test offers details about whether two people are biologically connected or not. It can also provide results for paternity test. However, the paternity results produced by direct-to-consumer kinship tests are not considered in the court of law. Other results that DTC genetic tests provide are related to issues such as weight loss, fitness, skin care, sleep, and nutritional requirements based on the DNA of the body.

A major area of concern for most people today is whether they are at risk of developing cancer in future. However, direct-to-home genetic tests can only estimate the risk but can provide a certain result of possibility of cancer in an individual in the future. However, only one testing company in the market, 23andMe, has received the approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the provision cancer risk test.

Based on a recent market intelligence by BIS Research, the direct-to-consumer genetic testing market was valued at $824.1 million in 2018 and is projected to reach $6,364.5 million by 2028, in terms of value. The market is expected to witness a CAGR of 22.84% during the forecast period, from 2019 to 2028. This growth of the market is propelled by multiple reasons, including improvements in the sequencing technologies, along with easy accessibility of DTC tests enabled by e-commerce platforms.

The DTC genetic testing market is governed by several factors, such as substantial investments made in the field of personalized and regenerative medicine, growing adoption of biomarkers and sequencing technologies for the early detection and treatment of hereditary and genetic diseases, and the increasing awareness among individuals regarding the benefits of DTC-GT, which that are responsible for the growth of the market.

Initiation of education and awareness programs, expansion of product portfolio, partnership with multiple distribution channel and health insurance, and expansion of services in untapped areas are some of the prominent opportunities present in the market that are expected to further boost the growth of the DTC-GT market.