For my applied anthropology thesis at the University of North Texas (UNT), I studied consumer DNA testing. My thesis was titled An Ethnography Of Direct-To-Consumer Genomics (DTCG): Design Anthropology Insights For The Product Management Of A Disruptive Innovation


Direct-to-consumer genomics (DTCG) health testing offers great promise to humanity, however to date adoption has lagged as a result of consumer awareness, understanding, and previous government regulations restricting DTCG companies from providing information on an individual’s genetic predispositions. But in 2017 the broader DTCG market which also includes genealogical testing demonstrated exponential growth, implying that DTCG is starting to diffuse as an innovation. To better understand the socio-cultural forces affecting diffusion, adoption, and satisfaction, qualitative ethnographic research was conducted with DTCG genealogy and health consumers. The data was qualitatively analyzed using thematic analysis to understand the similarities and differences in beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and mediating factors that have influenced consumers. Design anthropology theory and methods were used to produce ethnographically informed insights. The insights were then translated into actionable product management and business strategy recommendations

Cite As: Artz, Matthew. An Ethnography of Direct-to-Consumer Genomics [DTCG]: Design Anthropology Insights for the Product Management of a Disruptive InnovationthesisAugust 2018; Denton, Texas. ( March 4, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library,

Recommended Video

At TEDx Scranton 2020, I gave a talk titled Are DNA Tests Safe? If you are interested in the topic of consumer DNA tests, you will find it relevant.