Frequently Asked Questions

How It Works

The Science

Security and Privacy

Don’t see your question here? Email us at info@toolboxgenomics.com and we'll be happy to answer your questions to the best of our ability.

How It Works

Q. How Toolbox Genomics Works

Toolbox Genomics is a data interpretation service. We take genetic data generated by a CLIA/CAPP certified lab and compare it against hundreds of genetic markers that our research team has identified as significant.

In addition to the genetic data, when you first create your account, we ask that you answer a questionnaire. Answers to these questions will help further personalize your report. It is important to note that genetics represent the potential foundation of you. However, your genetics alone do not determine everything about you. How you and your environment interact with your genes will determine whether or not your genes are being expressed (e.g. your preference for black coffee or Lemon Heads).

Q. What information does Toolbox Genomics use to generate my Health Action Plan?

Toolbox Genomics uses both your genetic data and completed questionnaire to generate your Health Action Plan. We are able to generate a Health Action Plan based solely on your genetic data; however, answering the questionnaire at the beginning of your experience will generate a more customized report. If your health condition changes over time, you can always go back to your profile and update your questionnaire responses.

Q. How do I register my DNA test kit?

Once you have purchased your Toolbox Genomics Health Action Plan, you will be mailed a DNA Collection Kit. On the kit, you will find a barcode. Please go here to register your kit. You will be asked to create an account and sign a consent form related to our collection of your genetic sample, analysis of your genetic sample, and use and disclosure of your genetic data prior to registering your barcode. This is required to allow the lab to sequence your DNA and for Toolbox Genomics to generate your Health Action Plan.

Q. How is my DNA collected?

We will send you a DNA Collection Kit containing instructions, 2 packages of cheek swabs each containing 2 swabs (total of 4 swabs), a DNA Sample Envelope and a prepaid return envelope.

To collect your DNA (directions can also be found on your collection kit):

  1. Using one swab at a time, rub the tip back and forth, up and down on the inside of your cheek for 30 seconds. To prevent excess saliva, avoid the gum area.
  2. To dry, hold and wave swab for 60 seconds, then place it directly into the DNA sample envelope.
  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 with the three remaining swabs. (Be sure to use all 4 swabs, 2 swabs per cheek.)

Q. What can I expect to find in my Health Action Plan?

In your Health Action Plan, you will gain genetic insight into the 5 domains of optimal health and wellness, including lifestyle, supplement, nutrition, exercise and further testing tips.

Q. Are your tests covered by insurance?

We are currently not covered by insurance providers.

Q. How are orders and payments processed?

Orders and payments are processed by Toolbox Genomics and the 3rd party payment app Square. We accept most major credit cards and debit cards.

Q. Do I have to resubmit a DNA test kit each time I order a new panel?

The only time a new DNA test kit would need to be resubmitted is if TBG's assay has had significant changes. We will notify the practitioner when this happens.

Q. Can I order just the raw DNA results without the panel or recommendations?

A practitioner can order a custom raw DNA panel for a client. The raw DNA results do not contain any recommendations. For more information on how to successfully create a custom raw DNA panel please refer to our resource section and PDF tutorials in your practitioner account.

Q. How will I know if the lab received my DNA sample or the status of my kit?

You will receive an email as soon as the lab receives your kit. For more information on how to check the status of your kit, please refer to our resource section and PDF tutorials in your practitioner account.

Q. What happens if my DNA sample fails?

If a DNA sample fails we will alert you via email as soon as we are notified by the laboratory. You will then be instructed on how to resubmit a sample. For more information please contact us at info@toolboxgenomics.com.

Q. I received an email that said the kit failed to arrive at the lab. What should I do?

If a DNA sample fails to arrive at the lab we will alert you via email as soon as we are notified by the laboratory. You will then be instructed on how to resubmit a sample at no additional cost to you. For more information please contact us at info@toolboxgenomics.com.

Q. Will I get a report or recommendation for every SNP you list?

We are committed to providing you with the highest degree of personalized and actionable recommendations that are based on the most up-to-date research. Because of this, we consider certain factors like gender and ethnicity when analyzing the scientific research. Sometimes there is variability in the findings between these groups, where the study will show significance for one group and not for the other. When this happens, we will give the most applicable recommendation if possible, but won't include information for populations where the scientific evidence is not strong.

Additionally, we report on all tested genotypes within the tables of the report. However, scientific recommendations are only generated for the traits for which you have the known risk variant. This is because the recommendations are there to help guide you in potentially overcoming those specific genetic predispositions. Traits with a non-variant finding do not include recommendations, but are stated within the tables inside of the report.

Q. What data does Toolbox Genomics use?

Toolbox Genomics is a data interpretation service. We use genetic data from our contracted CLIA/CAPP certified labs to generate your personalized report. If you have genetic data from a difference source and would like to see if we can generate a report for you, please email us at info@toolboxgenomics.com

Q. How long does it take to receive my results?

Once you have sent in your genetic sample (i.e., the cheek swabs), you can expect to receive your report within 6 weeks.

Q. Can I expedite my results or report?

Unfortunately, we cannot expedite our results or reports due to quality assurance standards. For more information please contact us at info@toolboxgenomics.com.

Q. How will I get the Health Action Report?

You will be able to access your report by logging into your account and selecting My Reports. Our reports are in the form of PDFs which you can view, download, or print.

Q. How accurate is the data?

The accuracy of the raw data from our CLIA/CAPP certified lab is extremely accurate with a greater than 98% call rate.

Q. Can I share my report?

What you decide to do with your report is up to you. Sharing your Health Action Plan can be a great way to engage others in conversation as well as explore new health and wellness tips. However, we like to remind users that your DNA information is sensitive information and others may be able to learn something about you that you did not intend them to.

Q. Are you a patient?

Our tests are only available through practitioners. If you are a client/patient, please have your practitioner visit our website to sign up for an account.

The Science

Q. What is a SNP?

A SNP is also called a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism. Your DNA consists of 4 main building blocks (nucleotides), Adenine (A), Thymine (T), Guanine (G), and Cytosine (C). In certain locations within your DNA, one person may have an A, whereas another may have a G. This difference in the base pair is often called a variant. This variant is a SNP.

Q. What is epigenetics?

Epigenetics is the change in genetic expression based on your exposure to a combination of factors such as age, environment, lifestyle such as sleep and stress, and diet.

Q. What is the difference between genotype and phenotype?

A genotype refers to the actual inherited genetic material of an individual that can influence or determine certain characteristics or traits. A phenotype is how the genotype is actually expressed, that is the observable or measurable characteristics or traits of an individual.

Q. How does Toolbox Genomics gather research?

TBG uses FDA and scientific community guidelines to select the best research papers available. Utilizing these criteria, TBG has a grading system which allows them to distinguish between high quality research studies and low research studies. A key criteria that we use is utilizing human only studies. Because the research is conducted by healthcare practitioners, the research is subject to additional scrutiny to determine how easily consumers can utilize and implement the recommendations, what recommendations will have the largest benefit to the consumer and ways for the consumer to collaborate or partner with their healthcare provider to determine next steps for the health of their genes.

Q. Why don’t I see ____ SNP on Toolbox, but I’ve seen it on other sites?

Because of our rigorous literature review process, we don’t report SNPs that don’t meet our standards for scientific evidence. We have reviewed many more SNPs and associations than are currently not included in our reports and will update what is included as higher quality literature is published.

Q. Why do you choose the SNPs or genes that you have in your panels?

We implement rigorous selection criteria when choosing which genes or SNPs to include in our panels. The selection and validation criteria are based upon peer-reviewed studies that show a significant association between the SNP variant and trait or condition, the magnitude of the odds ratio (OR) or hazard ratio (HR) to assess risk related to the variant, as well as the population or populations the gene and SNP variant were studied in, the population size, and replication of findings.

Q. I want to read the study that you used to give my recommendation. Can you provide me with the research paper?

Unfortunately we cannot provide the actual articles to you because they are often restricted and require a fee for access. We can provide the article information that can allow you to search and find the abstract describing the results. In some cases, the articles themselves are open access and can be acquired with for free. Please contact us at info@toolboxgenomics.com if you are interested in the research.

Q. Do you test for genetic carrier diseases?

No, we do not. A genetic carrier refers to an individual who has inherited a recessive allele that has been shown to be responsible for an autosomal recessive disease or trait. A genetic carrier only has one recessive allele so while they do not show signs or symptoms of the trait or disease, they are able to pass along the recessive gene to their child. Toolbox Genomics genetic testing is for screening purposes only to assess risk or predisposition for certain traits.

Security and Privacy

Q. Will my genetic data be stored or used for any commercial interest?

Your genetic data and report results will be stored in a database that is protected by SSL encryption. Our systems and services are protected using industry standard security measures. Your genetic data will not be shared with any third parties, except in instances that you choose to direct us to provide your report to a third party. Registration information, Self-Reported Information, and Preference Information may be shared with Strategic Partners. Please read more in our Privacy Policy.

Q. Can any of my data be used without my consent or knowledge?

No. Toolbox Genomics does not use patient samples for further research or testing. Toolbox Genomics may use your de-identified and anonymized data to help improve our algorithm and reports. Your data will not be sold or shared to or with any 3rd parties/commercial interests.

Q. Can I delete my data any time?

Yes. We will be happy to delete any and all of your data upon request. Please submit a written request to the address below:

Toolbox Genomics, Inc.
75 Broadway St, Suite 251
San Francisco, CA 94111

Q. How secure is my data on your site?

Personal Information about users that is maintained on Toolbox’s systems and servers is protected using industry standard security measures. In order to secure your Personal Information, access to your data is password-protected, and sensitive data is protected by SSL encryption when it is exchanged between your web browser and the Toolbox website. Our data storage system also meets HIPAA compliance standards. However, no security measures are perfect or impenetrable, and Toolbox cannot guarantee that the information submitted to, maintained on, or transmitted from its systems will be completely secure. Toolbox is not responsible for the circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures contained on the Toolbox website by any users or third parties.

Have more questions? Please email us at info@toolboxgenomics.com