Back in August, we announced that we would be releasing a platform in order for our community to test and give us feedback on the first iteration of our Alpha product.
After onboarding a wealth of new talent and welcoming Henry Ines to the role of CEO, we felt it time to take a step back and reassess our current position. We realised that many of our competitors, both startups in the blockchain space and traditional genetics companies had spent a significant amount of time streamlining their UI/UX and USPs. It became clear to us that we needed to innovate in an area that’s often overlooked – secure storage. In perfecting such a solution, we would be able to offer our community and competitors alike greater freedom and transparency where the storage and sharing of their DNA data is concerned, having a positive knock-on effect on the direct-to-consumer genetic testing industry.
Months of development later, after several scrum meetings and all-nighters, we’re thrilled to unveil to the community the long-awaited Alpha Release!
A Sleek UI/UX Brand Overhaul
Users will also notice that we’ve greatly simplified our sign-up process, stripping it down to three easy steps:
Select whether you’re a consumer or an enterprise user, before adding general account information (name, DOB, country, etc.)
Complete health and wellness information by answering a range of questions (which, in later releases, will not only help us better assess which products we should provide our audience with, but also improve the search function for organisations seeking particular DNA datasets). Of course, the user will be able to specify whether they wish to be ‘discoverable’ in our Enterprise Search feature.
The final step in the sign-up process is adjusting user permissions – you’ll be able to set search, viewing and contact permissions that are linked to DNA data uploaded onto the platform. We’ve implemented toggle functionality to offer users a more granular experience over categories. For instance, they may choose to only make their data searchable and available to academic research teams over governmental organisations.
DNA Upload & Encryption
As aforementioned, we’ve spent countless hours fine-tuning our secure storage feature whilst ensuring newcomers and users of previous genetic testing kits are provided with a seamless experience for securely uploading their data. If you’ve used another testing service previously, all you need is your genetic information to get started – usually, this is stored in a file with a .vcf extension.
Navigate to the MYDNA page and click on ‘Upload’ to select the requisite file from your device. Once selected, it will be encrypted and subsequently stored on the Shivom platform. In successive releases, expect an even simpler process, where logins for sites like 23andMe or Ancestry can be used in order to directly import data.
Additionally, this page allows you to pre-order home testing kits. Select this option to be added to the pre-order list for the kits, which will be shipped in Q1 of 2019.
Shivom will continue iterating on its product and fleshing out our core features – above all, our work is driven with a focus on security and accessibility. In tandem, we’ll launch numerous upgrades to campaign management for enterprise users and our Enterprise Search function (providing granular filters for organisations seeking out specific data sets, i.e. those from specific regions, associated with certain diseases or conditions, etc.).
For users that wish to share their data with researchers or institutes in the medical field (all whilst being remunerated for their participation), we’ll be rolling out the ability to anonymously provide organisations with datasets within a set timeframe, leveraging blockchain-based payments directly into an integrated wallet accessible via Shivom’s web portal.
Stay tuned for more exciting updates on our roadmap, developments and partnerships in the coming weeks. Go ahead and experiment with the Alpha, and be sure to let us know what you like, what could be improved, and what you’d like to see added in the future via the Intercom feature at the bottom right-hand side of the portal.
Until next time,
The Shivom Team