circledna-review

CircleDNA review – Is Whole Exome Sequencing worth a premium price?

Rating based on our CircleDNA review

7 facts from our CircleDNA review

  1. CircleDNA location: Hong Kong, and other offices worldwide
  2. Products:  DNA sequencing, health reports, genetic counseling
  3. Reports: Diet, Health, Genetic Diseases, Family Planning
  4. Genetic Counseling: one session included with kit purchase
  5. Result delivery: within 18 days
  6. Privacy: secure privacy policy and option to delete data
  7. Cost:  $189 to $629
  8. Alternatives: Nebula Genomics (most affordable non-diagnostic whole genome sequencing)

Summary

This is a review of CircleDNA (Circle DNA), a genetic sequencing and reporting company that also provides genetic counseling. Users can select products ranging from diet and nutrition reports to the full gamut of disease and family planning genomics. The reports are clear, easy to understand, and comprehensive (Whole Exome Sequencing). 

However, compared to other providers, CircleDNA’s genomic reporting is expensive. Alternative providers offer more budget-friendly health tests and reporting. For users who already have their genetic data, other providers include Xcode Life and Promethease are free or significantly less expensive.

Are you interested in sequencing your entire genome? Nebula Genomics offers Whole Genome Sequencing that decodes 100% of your DNA as compared to Helix DNA’s Whole Exome Sequencing (only sequences 1% of your genome)! We also provide new reports every week that are based on the latest scientific discoveries. Learn more!

Introduction

CircleDNA is a genetic sequencing and reporting company founded in 2014 with offices around the world. It is owned by Prenetics, a genetic testing company from Southeast Asia. Their 150 staff members are focused on a mission of preventative medicine. They want to empower people to prevent disease before they even falling ill.

CircleDNA offers gene sequencing services, as well as over 500 reports included across 20 basic categories. They also provide complementary one-on-one sessions with a genetic counsellor with their DNA kits. Using technology from Illumina, Circle provides Whole Exome Sequencing.

Their whole-exome sequencing collects 31 million data points, more than typical genotyping tests. Genetic counseling also makes CircleDNA stand out versus competitors like 23andMe and AncestryDNA.

Their website claims that they have processed over 300,000 DNA samples.

What CircleDNA offers

Let’s review what CircleDNA offers. CircleDNA offers an array of options for home DNA testing. Each choice of testing kit corresponds to a different set of health reports and focus areas. Some of the DNA test kits come with genetic counseling, and others do not. Here is the breakdown of their products:

Vital DNA Test ($189): This lowest tier product gives users 125 reports about diet, nutrition, fitness, wellness, and more. It does not come with a complementary one-on-one genetic counseling session. But it does come with a 30-minute complementary consultation with a genetics trained health coach.

Health DNA Test ($499): This product gives users actionable information about cancer and disease prevention. The product includes 36 reports for cancer risk alone and 115 reports in total. It does come with a complementary one-on-one genetics counseling session but does not include health coaching.

Family Planning DNA Test ($499): This product gives users information about their genetic risks for disease. It is marketed towards couples who want to start a family. It offers 163 reports, each corresponding to a specific disease or disorder. 

38 relate to neonatal & early childhood death, such as Gracile Syndrome. 116 shorten lifespan childhood death, such as Cystic Fibrosis. 71 of the reported diseases carry a significant risk for intellectual disability, such as Phenylalanine Hydroxylase Deficiency. 

It does come with a complementary one-on-one genetic counseling session but does not include health coaching.

Circle DNA Premium DNA Test ($629): This highest tier offering includes all of the lower tiers, bundled into one package. With 500+ reports and 20 categories of gene analysis, Circle refers to it as “the world’s most comprehensive DNA test.” It also includes a lifetime subscription to future genomic data updates, which they normally sell for $69. This product includes both genetic professional consultation sessions.

CircleDNA’s test for each of these products is an at-home test. All of the tests rely on a swab test to get started. 

The test itself does not take a lot of time to complete. Users order one of 4 test kit options. Then they can perform a cheek swab to with their DNA collection kit and ship it back to CircleDNA for processing. Upon processing, tests are validated by the Croucher Laboratory of Human Genomics.

Sample processing takes about 18 business days.

After the DNA sample is processed, users receive their personalized reports on the Circle smartphone app. PDF versions of the reports are also available online. All kits include some form of consultation with genetic health professionals.

CircleDNA Genetic Counseling

CircleDNA is not a clinical genomic testing company. Tests are performed at home, not in a doctor’s office. This means that users can order their tests themselves, without needing a referral.

CircleDNA does offer genetic counseling and health coaching about your genetic blueprint. One session of genetic counseling is included with each kit, although the Vital DNA Test counseling is with a health coach.

Circle’s genetic health professionals aim to walk users through their results. They provide actionable insights based on what they’ve learned. This could mean fitness regimens, nutritional advice, or insights relating to family genetic risks.

These services are not covered by health insurance.

CircleDNA Report Details

Next, let’s review CircleDNA reports in more detail. CircleDNA’s reporting options offer a lot of health information. CircleDNA ancestry even reports on European, Asian and African ancestry. Here is a breakdown of the information offered for each test.

Review of CircleDNA Vital DNA Test

Do you want to get fit? Do you want an optimal diet to eat better and eat smarter? The Vital DNA Test from CircleDNA aims to help users better understand their genes as they relate to the following 14 categories

CategoryExample reports
DietSalt sensitivity, taste sensitivity
NutritionVitamin B12, iron requirements
Sports & FitnessEndurance capacity, Genetic strength
Stress & SleepStress-induced obesity
AncestryEuropean, Asian, African ancestry
SkinAcne risk
Physical TraitsSweat, waist, antioxidants
Behavioral TraitsAlcohol, Altruism
Gender TraitsMale sex hormone levels
Music & DanceDancing ability
Success TraitsMemory skills
Personality TraitsAgreeableness
Well-beingLife longevity, mosquito bites
PollutionDust allergy

Each report is broken down into facts and actionable information. CircleDNA shows the following images as sample versions of its reporting:

Example reports from the Circle DNA Vital DNA Test (CircleDNA Website)
Example reports from the CircleDNA Vital DNA Test (CircleDNA Website)

Review of CircleDNA Health DNA Test

Are you worried that you are at an increased risk of disease? The Health DNA Test from CircleDNA wants to help users better understand their genes as they relate to the following categories for early detection of disease risk and assessing whether you may be in a high risk category.

CategoryExample reports
CancerBreast, colorectal, melanoma, pancreatic, ovarian, stomach, uterine, and many more
Dementia & Brain HealthAlzheimer’s Disease, Bipolar disorder, Frontotemporal Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson’s, Schizophrenia 
Common Health RisksStroke, obesity, heart disease, diabetes
Disease Risk65 total reports, from Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm to Vitiligo

Each report is broken down into facts and useful genetic information. CircleDNA shows the following images as sample versions of its reporting:

Example reports from the CircleDNA Health DNA Test (Circle DNA Website)
Example reports from the CircleDNA Health DNA Test (CircleDNA Website)

Each human genome report comes with an in-depth explanation of the result and the science behind it. CircleDNA also provides statistics for context. For example, 81% of women with a BRCA1 Mutation may risk cancer, versus only 10% without it.

The test also includes information about drug responses and carrier status.

Review of CircleDNA Family Planning DNA Test

Are you worried that your future family may be at risk of rare genetic conditions? The Family Planning DNA Test wants to help users better understand their genes as they relate to the following categories:

CategoryExample reports
Neonatal diseaseGracile Syndrome, Protein Deficiencies, Citrullinemia
Lifespan shorteningCystic Fibrosis, Ataxia-Telangiectasia, Andermann Syndrome
Intellectual DisabilityPhenylalanine Hydroxylase Deficiency, Smith-Lemil-Opitz Syndrome, Hyperinsulinism

Each report is broken down into facts and useful genetic information. CircleDNA shows the following images as sample versions of its reporting:

Example reports from the Circle DNA Health DNA Test (Circle DNA Website)
Example reports from the CircleDNA Health DNA Test (CircleDNA Website)

CircleDNA emphasizes that these are “results you can trust.” The test offered by Circle is from a clinical-grade laboratory, as are those from its competitors, including Nebula Genomics.

Review of CircleDNA Privacy Policy

Is CircleDNA safe?  According to the CircleDNA privacy notice, the company ensures that users’ DNA data is in a lab certified as safe and secure. CircleDNA does collect digital information from users and offers users control over what is done with the data.

Users may delete their data at any time.

Will CircleDNA disclose your personal data to third parties? CircleDNA does disclose personal information to its service providers. They do not sell, lease or rent protected health information without any consent.

Users may consent to the use of their data for scientific and medical research

CircleDNA In the News

CircleDNA Reviews

CircleDNA Pros/Cons

Should you choose CircleDNA?

Pros

  • Easy to read reporting
  • Detailed whole-exome sequencing analyzes more data than genotyping
  • Offers genetic counseling with DNA testing kits

Cons

  • More expensive than some whole-genome sequencing providers
  • Can’t upload genomic data from other providers

Nebula Genomics

In this final part of our CircleDNA review, we will compare it to Nebula Genomics.

With the 30x Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS), Nebula Genomics decodes 100% of your DNA for only $0 – $299. CircleDNA also offers a wide array of genes to analyze. These approaches provide more comprehensive reporting than typical genotyping approaches, such as 23andMe and AncestryDNA. 

One key difference, however, is cost. Is CircleDNA worth it? CircleDNA charges at least $189 for their base level of analysis which does not provide a complete health report. 

Although Nebula does not offer genetic counseling, our results come from clinical-grade (CLIA/CAP-accredited) labs. This accreditation means healthcare providers trust the quality of our genomic information. 

For more information and regular scientific updates, Nebula has a Research Library. This information is provided free of charge to all users. CircleDNA, in comparison, charges $69 for their lifetime subscription of weekly updates.

And what about users who have genomic data from other providers? Nebula users can also bring that DNA data to Nebula for further analysis. And for users who take their DNA data elsewhere, Nebula offers an easy export option. Users are encouraged to reach out to genetic counselors for more information. If you have a known genetic disorder in your family history, please consult with your healthcare provider first.

Here is how Nebula compares with other DNA testing companies.

23andMeAncestryNebula GenomicsCircleDNA
Type of Genome Reporting ServiceMicroarray-based genotypingMicroarray-based genotyping Whole-Genome Sequencing (30x coverage)Whole Exome Sequencing
Produced data~ 600,000 positions in the genome~ 700,000 positions in the genome~ 3,000,000,000 positions in the genome31,000,000
Compatible with other sitesCan export data and use it elsewhere.Can export data and use it elsewhere.Can export data and use it elsewhere.Not compatible with other services
Ancestry ReportingYesYesYesYes
Weekly UpdatesNoNoYes (Nebula Research Library) (Free)Yes($69, or included with the $629 test)
Cost$99, $199, or $499$99 or $149$0 – $299$189 to $629
CircleDNA vs Ancestry vs 23andMe vs Nebula Genomics

If you are interested in comprehensive DNA tests, you may also be interested in these alternative products: Helix DNA, Veritas Genetics, WeGene, DNAFit (sells CircleDNA tests) and tellmeGen.

Did you like our Circle DNA review? Read reviews of other DNA testing companies!

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