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How does iGene analyse my DNA?

We send you a tube for collecting a saliva sample. This DNA sample is used to analyse (part of) your DNA. To perform the analysis, we work together with independent, certified research laboratories specialising in DNA technology.

Does iGene analyse all of my DNA?

No. The iGene Passport only contains information about conditions and personal characteristics or traits in which your genes are known to play a role. 

 We also take future developments in medical science into account. If we cannot yet tell from your DNA whether you are at an increased risk of a certain condition, for example, but this becomes possible in three years' time based on the DNA profile produced to create your iGene Passport, you will also receive information about this condition from that point on.

Why do I need to enter my ethnicity and year of birth?

Your (increased or reduced) risk of developing a certain condition, or your sensitivity to a particular drug, is determined not just by your individual DNA, but also by factors such as age and ethnicity.

What if I have a mixed ethnic background?

Choose the ethnicity that you think corresponds most closely to yours. You can change this selection again at any time in the app settings. 

If you are unsure which ethnicity is most strongly represented in your case, we would definitely recommend changing this setting. You will then be able to see for yourself how this changes your gene passport and lifestyle advice. 

Why can I not find my own ethnic background in the options?

Not enough scientific research is available for all ethnicities to make responsible statements about a person’s genetic predisposition to certain conditions. Consequently, we are able to make relevant statements for people with an Asian or European background, for example, but not for people of African descent.

We consider this a serious scientific shortcoming and see it as our duty to make our views on this known. We raise this issue in our direct contact with universities and other research institutes, for example, and also highlight it during our public appearances in the media. In addition, we make an extra effort to find studies conducted amongst ethnic groups who are currently underrepresented in scientific research literature.

What is the medical status of the information I receive via the app?

The iGene Passport and associated message service are explicitly intended to complement rather than replace regular healthcare services. Our app is a source of information and is not an official medical resource. If you have any medical questions, you should always consult a doctor or medical specialist.

How is my privacy guaranteed?

To guarantee your privacy, we process your payment data and personal data using two separate systems on two different servers.

We only use your address data to process your order and to send you the kit containing the test tube. Once the kit has been delivered we delete your postal address from our administrative systems. Your DNA samples are also destroyed after they have been processed in the laboratory.

All your personal data is handled in accordance with the Dutch Personal Data Protection Act. You can find out more about this in our privacy policy.

Can I also pay anonymously?

Yes, you may also pay anonymously if you wish to do so. You can do this using a prepaid credit card, e.g. a paysafecard.

Can the helpdesk also assist me with medical questions?

Always consult a general practitioner or medical specialist with specific medical questions. The helpdesk can only answer questions about the technical status of your account and payment information. You can also contact us if there are any questions or uncertainties about the results.

How do I request an iGene Passport?

1. Order the iGene kit.

2. Within 2 working days you will receive the kit by post containing: A tube for collecting a saliva sample, which will be used to obtain a sample of your DNA A return envelope Instructions

3. Spit a small amount of saliva into the tube.

4. Download the iGene app.

5. Register your tube in the iGene app.

6. Return your tube.

7. Your iGene Passport will be ready within 6 to 8 weeks.

Why don’t I receive any information about conditions that cannot yet be prevented?

Our mission is to help people live a happier life. If you find out you have an increased risk of developing a particular condition, but cannot (yet) do anything about it, we don’t believe this will make you any happier. That’s why we don’t include such conditions in your iGene Passport. However, if scientists discover ways to potentially prevent such conditions, we may add them to your iGene Passport at a later stage. In that case we will notify you via the iGene message service.

How does iGene differ from other providers of gene passports?

First and foremost, we only provide information about conditions and personal traits if it has been scientifically demonstrated in a convincing way that a genetic link exists. This sets us apart from other providers, who sometimes also provide information about conditions for which this link is less certain.

Secondly, we also include information about your sensitivity to the active substances in drugs in your gene passport – a so-called pharmacogenetic passport.

Thirdly, we believe it is important that the information we provide actually helps you live a better life. We make sure that is the case by translating known information on prevention into personal lifestyle priorities. As a result, you can immediately see where you can achieve the greatest benefits in the easiest way.

Lastly, via the iGene message service you receive a practical tip or reminder every week, based on your general lifestyle advice. By dosing information in this way and presenting it attractively, we make it much more likely that you will actually put it to use.

As far as we know, a service like this made up of 4 different components (personal gene passport, tailored lifestyle advice, practical tips via a message service) is unique in the world.

What can I do with the app?

The app is made up of six sections:

1. Gene passport: a personal overview of conditions that you have a reduced or increased risk of developing, information about personal traits in which your genes play a role and information about your sensitivity to drugs.

2. Lifestyle advice: information that you can use to help prevent conditions to which you are genetically predisposed.

3. Drug sensitivity: with the iGene FARMA DNA test it is possible to identify which drugs you are likely to respond to abnormally on a preventive basis.

4. Pharmacological profile: in your personal pharmacological profile you can see which enzymes play a role in your sensitivity to drugs.

5. Message service: practical tips that are tailored to your DNA profile and announcements of updates to your gene passport following new scientific discoveries.

6. Settings: here you can change the language of the app, for example, or indicate that you also want to receive messages via e-mail in future.

What information does iGene not provide?

When analysing your DNA, we explicitly do NOT examine genes linked to conditions that you cannot (yet) help to prevent yourself. After all, having this knowledge would not make you any happier, in our opinion. These conditions include the following: ALS, Asthma, Bipolar disorder, Depression, Type 1 diabetes, Irritable bowel syndrome, Thyroid cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma

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