Hidden costs of DIY genetic tests

Most experts struggle to understand the results and any errors can cause unnecessary anguish for the person being tested as well as their siblings and parents.

"There is uncertainty about how clinically relevant the tests are," writes Professor Ronald Trent in the latest issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.

Only 7% of Australian genetic specialists say they are confident in interpreting direct-to-consumer (DTC) test results.

"If these specialists are having problems, then non-specialists will be immensely challenged. Where does this place the consumer?

"People will be referred from one specialist to another," he said.

"It's fine for consumers to pay $99 for a test. But they are likely to go and see a GP about the results. Then they will be referred to a specialist.

"For every $99, we are paying $500 or $600 because the national health system needs to work out what the test results mean. And usually they don't