Convenience, avoidance of doctor's appointments, curiosity, and the desire to take control of one's health are driving interest toward direct-to-consumer (DTC) testing. DTC is laboratory testing that is initiated by the consumer without a physician order. The results are reported back directly to the consumer. DTC testing is an exciting addition to the traditional healthcare model for consumers who want knowledge of their health status and disease risk, ancestry, and their body's expected response to certain medications based on their genotype.
To discuss the perceived and potential benefits and risks involved in DTC testing.
Recent published literature on DTC testing.
The benefits of DTC testing are enticing and are driving the DTC testing market. Consumers must weigh the perceived benefits with the potential risks, including privacy concerns, the possibility of receiving confusing health information, and/or information that could generate unexpected emotions, misdiagnosis, and over-testing.