Consumer use and response to online third-party raw DNA interpretation services.

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Consumer use and response to online third-party raw DNA interpretation services.

Mol Genet Genomic Med. 2018 01;6(1):35-43

Authors: Wang C, Cahill TJ, Parlato A, Wertz B, Zhong Q, Cunningham TN, Cummings JJ

BACKGROUND: With the availability of raw DNA generated from direct-to-consumer (DTC) testing companies, there has been a proliferation of third-party online services that are available to interpret the raw data for both genealogy and/or health purposes. This study examines the current landscape and downstream clinical implications of consumer use of third-party services.
METHODS: Study participants were recruited online from social media platforms. A total of 321 survey respondents reported using third-party services for raw DNA interpretation.
RESULTS: Participants were highly motivated to explore raw DNA for ancestral information (67%), individual health implications (62%), or both (40%). Participants primarily used one of seven companies to interpret raw DNA; 73% used more than one. Company choice was driven by the type of results offered (51%), price (45%), and online reviews (31%). Approximately 30% of participants shared results with a medical provider and 21% shared with more than one. Outcomes of sharing ranged from disinterest/discounting of the information to diagnosis of genetic conditions. Participants were highly satisfied with their decision to analyze raw DNA (M = 4.54/5), yet challenges in understanding interpretation results were reported irrespective of satisfaction ratings.
CONCLUSION: Consumers face challenges in understanding the results and may seek out clinical assistance in interpreting their raw DNA results.

PMID: 29471590 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]