Important questions to ask before taking a FitnessGenes DNA test

Monday, February 03, 2020. Author Alex Auld

Woman thinking about her DNA data

Given the mountains of information within your DNA, which can be accessed from just a small saliva sample, many of us understandably have concerns about the use and availability of this very personal data.

Here are our responses to some of the most common questions and concerns regarding DNA analysis:

 

Do you share my data with third parties, including insurers and pharmaceutical companies?

We never share any of your personal or genetic data with any third parties without your expressed consent.

There may be opportunities for you to volunteer your data for academic research, however, in these isolated cases your data is anonymised and pooled so that there is no way of identifying you as an individual.

Our business model has never entertained the sale of customer data and we are solely focused on company growth through sales of our DNA Analysis tests, DNA Uploads and Genetic Workout Systems.

 

What security measures do you have in place to protect my personal and genetic data?

FitnessGenes takes the security of your data very seriously. Your personal details (i.e. name, delivery address, email address) and anonymised genetic data are kept on separate, secure servers to prevent unauthorised thirds parties accessing both simultaneously. Your anonymised genetic data is also encrypted for added security.

Access to this data is restricted to essential FitnessGenes staff and requires two-factor authentication to access. These measures are all in line with the UK Data Protection Act (1998) and EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation.

 

What happens to my sample after it’s been analysed?

Post-analysis, all DNA samples are stored within our high-security laboratory facility, which is protected by 24-hour surveillance. The sample is anonymised, with no personal or identifiable data.

We store all samples so that customers can elect to access new technological platforms as they are released, without having to submit a second sample. This was the case in 2018, when we upgraded our testing panel to include over 680,000 more genetic variants, thereby facilitating the delivery of additional traits.

 

Do I have ownership of my own data and the right to be forgotten?

Absolutely – you can download all your personal data at any time, including your raw DNA data file. You can also request for your DNA sample to be destroyed by sending a request to support@fitnessgenes.com. Your FitnessGenes account can also be deleted from within the members area.

If you intend to delete your account, we advise first downloading your raw DNA data file for your own records and use, as you will not be able to access this once your account has been deleted. You will also lose all access to truefeed and will not receive any ongoing trait releases.

 

How reliable/accurate is the DNA analysis process?

The process of identifying the genetic variants that you carry is extremely accurate. The laboratory where your sample is analysed is highly accredited, holding ISO 17025 standard for laboratory testing and calibration services and ISO 9001 standard for business processes. It is also fully compliant with Good Laboratory Practice (GLP).

The laboratory is one of Europe’s largest high-throughput genomics facilities. It has analysed 100,000s of DNA samples and has been used in numerous large-scale genetic and medical research projects.

There are multiple quality control checkpoints during the analysis. If a sample fails at any one of these checkpoints, the process is halted and restarted. Results are only delivered when at least 95% of the sample’s genetic variants have been reliably identified.

Beyond the identification of genetic variants, all traits, insights and actions are constructed by our in-house team of researchers who hold relevant PhD, MBBS and MSc qualifications. It is their interpretation of peer-reviewed academic research that forms the results and recommendations that we deliver.

 

Is there any scientific research or proof to support the results you deliver?

Yes – our reports are based only on high-quality research that has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals (e.g. Nature Genetics, PLoS Genetics, Cell). These are cited and explained in the accompanying trait articles. 

We only analyse those gene variants that demonstrate a significant, robust association with a health or fitness outcome. In this respect, we use data from large-scale systematic reviews and meta-analyses whenever possible.

Similarly, all of our diet, workout, supplement and lifestyle actions are evidence-based and have been demonstrated in high-quality, peer-reviewed studies to be effective in human subjects. Again, whenever possible, our actions are based on data from meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials.

 

For further questions or concerns…

We hope that this blog has addressed any questions or concerns that you may have. If it has not, you can access our privacy policy and terms & conditions through the following links:

https://fitnessgenes.com/legal/privacy-policy

https://fitnessgenes.com/legal/terms-and-conditions

You are also very welcome to send any questions you have regarding our business practices and policies to support@fitnessgenes.com, where a member of the team will get back to you. 

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