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Direct-to-consumer genetic testing

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing

Opportunities and risks in a rapidly evolving market.


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Vertical DNA illustration against blue background

Previously purely used by healthcare institutions, genetic testing can now be undertaken cheaply, quickly and directly by consumers as a result of rapid technological advancement over the last decade.

The market for direct-to-consumer genetic testing (DTC-GT), in which end-users order sampling kits directly, is forecast to grow steadily to be worth over $1 billion by 2020. However, commercial success for new and more established players is not guaranteed. Tightening regulations and growing concerns over data privacy, scientific accuracy and the psychological impact on consumers, demands careful consideration.

Key insights in this report include:

Drivers of growth

  • Public awareness and acceptance of genetic testing is steadily growing. This is boosted by a sense of empowerment from test results, reported by 80% of early adopters.

Data privacy concerns

  • Information privacy and security remain a central concern. In submitting a sample, individuals provide sensitive information that risks being leaked and current regulatory regimes fail to cover DTC-GT entirely.

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