Testing for genetic diseases, conditions and predictive analysis has produced a several million-dollar market, according to an in vitro diagnostics market research firm. The worldwide market is expected to see an increase in utilization of DTC genetic tests, driving the market to reach upwards of $310 million by 2022. There are several trends, which continue to influence growth in the global DTC genetic testing market, according to New York City-based Kalorama Information’s report Direct to Consumer Genetic Testing Market.
Among them are:
- A trend toward preventive and risk factor testing has been noted in several disciplines, particularly in the areas of oncology, endocrinology, and gynecology. Physicians and patients are taking advantage of testing for early detection and disease prevention.
- Demographics remain a primary factor in growth in the health market.
- Aging populations contribute to the growing concern over the delivery of health care. By 2020, 16% of the U.S. population will be over the age of 65, up from 13% in 2010.
- Globally, life expectancy is also increasing, further fueling opportunities in the market.
- Advancing technologies have led to increased use of laboratories and laboratory services online. DTC genetic testing markets rely on the expansion of digital technologies for delivery of results.
One of the most significant drivers of all healthcare services is population and specifically, the population of older persons. The aging of the population increases a host of statistics that lead to more medical device demand: injuries, surgical procedures, hospital admissions, chronic disease. The population is aging in the largest healthcare market, the United States, which alone is significant. However, other significant world healthcare markets are dealing with the challenge of aging populations, including those of Europe, Japan, and China. Some of the costliest chronic diseases to the health system include asthma, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), coronary artery disease (CAD), osteoarthritis, and diabetes.
The report says the landscape for this segment is still evolving while new tests, technologies and delivery modes are introduced regularly. In the DTC space, genetic testing is mostly used for predictive testing with some growing interest in patient-ordered disease detection testing.
With the recognition that genomic technology can improve patient treatment and outcomes, reduce hospital admissions and fatalities, result in cost savings, and reduce the burden on healthcare personnel, increased use has led to an overabundance of patient data. New software applications that process data according to disease-specific algorithms and allow customizable measurement limits to filter out normal data and reduce the incidence of alarms or warnings. Measurement histories and reports can be customized for a patient’s condition, making them more valuable and saving valuable clinician time in reviewing the reports. The prevalence of hypertension and diabetes are outpacing most other conditions and contribute to significant financial burden. These two conditions can be managed using devices which could reduce the overall burden associated with these diseases.
“Genetic testing could be central preventing chronic disease or personalized treatment for better outcomes of chronic diseases,” said the report’s author, Mary Ann Crandall.
New technologies in testing will likely continue to fuel growth in combination with an aging population, increasing disease incidence and prevalence, a focus on prevention and early detection, and new trends in personalized medicine.