This week, Shivom will launch its first iteration of our direct-to-consumer health management marketplace. In this post, we will be providing information to the community and prospective partners about how we determine which products and companies are listed on our platform.
Shivom’s mission is to not only optimize how DNA is shared, secured and analysed but to bring exponential value to our end-users. With this mission comes the responsibility to make some pretty tough decisions through and through. One of these decisions is choosing which companies Shivom would want to interact with within our eco-system. When our team started working on ‘Shop 1.5’ Shivom understood that we shouldn’t strive to be just a marketplace promoting every type of genetic testing product we could get our hands on. This business model not only has problems with scalability but additionally lowers the quality or value we bring to our audience. For these reasons and many more, our team developed quality control and criteria which are used to decide which partners should be able to gain entry to the marketplace.
The first part of our review is about companies’ data privacy and security policies. The first question we ask is, do you share data with third-parties? The second question we ask is, do you sell or utilise the user’s data in order to generate revenue? If the answer is yes to either one of these questions, straight off the back the company would be eliminated from being able to join our marketplace.
In the second part of the review, our team will determine the quality of the report and determine whether it brings any value or if it is B*** S***. A Great example of this is when I recently saw on a competitor’s website that they were sequencing a user’s DNA in order to find out what kind of t-shirt looked best on them (v-neck or crew).
The third part of our review is whether the product and or company brings value to the eco-system. For example, if someone recently purchased Living DNA’s 3-in-1 Ancestry Kit they might also be interested in learning about their nutrition and cholesterol. Instead of having to purchase an entire kit we look at products which allow people to use their Raw Genetic data gained from the Ancestry KIt instead of having to re-swab, prick or take a faecal sample all over again. Additionally, we are also looking at which products are complementary to each other and could go hand-in-hand
In case you were wondering what the reasons were for choosing Vitl, Living DNA and Chronomics for our first iteration, I’ve included below an in-depth explanation.
Vitl products not only have a high rate of positive customer feedback (e.g. 91% of customers rated Vitl products as ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot), the team is comprised of experts in their field; such as geneticists, nutritionists who understand the science and the practical aspects of healthy nutrition. Vitl uses the latest innovative technologies, such as; artificial intelligence. Additionally, the company uses credible vendors and laboratories for their tests(e.g. UKAS-accredited and CQC-registered blood testing facilities) as well as Illumina CSPro Certified Service Providers in Europe and the USA for DNA testing. Whilst other brands may test for a larger number of less well-researched traits, Vitl emphasizes quality over quantity. They only cover traits based on the strongest, peer-reviewed evidence to ensure users are getting the most reliable results.
Lastly, similar to Shivom’s philosophy of combining different omics technologies to gain insight, Vitl enables the integration of DNA data alongside blood and dietary results and lifestyle information. This is important because supplement recommendations or lifestyle advice cannot be made on DNA information alone, but taken alongside current blood vitamin levels and diet that are measured in a longitudinal way.
Living DNA launched back in 2016 as a collaboration of more than 100 scientists, researchers and genetic experts. We added Living DNA as a partner to our ecosystem because they provide precise ethnic estimates of ancestry testing. The 3-in-1 test covers the biggest number of genetic populations, which translates to the most accurate genetic percentages and offers unrivalled worldwide regional and sub-regional detail. The test incorporates three separate tests in one, giving the customer more for their money than any other ancestry tests on the market right now.
Additionally, instead of just getting your basic family ancestry (autosomal DNA), you also get an analysis along your mother line (derived from mitochondrial DNA) and your father line (derived from the male-specific y-chromosome). Living DNA is a holder of ISO:27001 certification, which demonstrates good protection and security for personal and genetic data. As DNA samples are only connected to unique ID numbers, not even its staff members will know the identity of its users. The company works with “Show Racism the Red Card,” a group that fights racism to provide a safe space to reduce racist ideas and attitudes. Lastly, Living DNA provides the raw data of all test results which can be used on the Shivom precision medicine platform to foster research and fight rare diseases.
Epigenetic testing is relatively new to the direct-to-consumer testing market. We partnered with Chronomics because of their impeccable experience in this field. Our CSO, Dr Axel Schumacher is one of the many pioneers of epigenetics and worked alongside some of the Chronomics team members.
Epigenetics is the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. Epigenetic testing offers additional value to genomic testing, in particular, allowing individuals to analyse how environmental and lifestyle choices affect the body and how these patterns change over time. By monitoring epigenetic patterns, it is possible to collect actionable insight allowing for a personalized improvement plan. Most importantly, Chronomics provides users with the ability to gain access to their raw data which can be managed, stored and monetized on Shivom.
For more information about Shivom please visit here
To read more about our affiliation with Living DNA please visit here
To read more about our affiliation with Vitl please visit here
To read more about our affiliation with Chronomics please visit here
Shivom is a biotechnology data and analysis company optimising the way DNA is shared, secured and analysed. By utilising innovative technologies such as blockchain and machine-learning algorithms, we are able to democratise genomics.
Our mission is to bring exponential value to our end-users within the genomics industry. We believe that the unique combination of our in-depth knowledge for genomics, mixed with deep-rooted backgrounds in cryptography and AI is essential in the democratisation of genomics and healthcare data.
Learn more about our direct-to-consumer solutions here
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