October 15, 2019 -- Ancestry is adding genetic profiling to its offerings, with a focus on tests ordered by physicians and performed in CLIA-certified laboratories in the U.S.
The company's new AncestryHealth tests will complement its long-running AncestryDNA genealogy services. Health testing will be ordered by physicians and performed by independent CLIA-certified laboratories, the company noted in a statement. To complement testing, Ancestry will provide genetic counseling and other educational resources, along with reports that suggest how to act on the findings in consultation with health professionals. The new offerings may be accessed on a one-time basis or as part of a regular subscription service.
Ancestry's move into health testing comes at a time of scrutiny of the quality and oversight of consumer genetic testing. Tests ordered directly by a consumer through a website are managed by third-party labs and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, whereas physician-ordered tests are regulated by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' CLIA program. Experts have expressed concern that consumers don't realize the difference, and they have advised more education and physician involvement in interpreting results from genetic tests.