STEP UP AND BE AN AGENT OF CHANGE.
We need your tampon. You never thought you'd hear those words in your life. But our understanding of reproductive health is only as good as the breadth and diversity of our database. We are on a mission to chart the MENSTRUALOME: the diverse molecular signals found in the cells you shed every month during your period.
We need varying ages, geographies, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, music tastes (J/K) and any other data you deem worthy of sharing. Simply put, if you menstruate we want your tampon. If you want to be a building block for the future, let us know by signing up below and we'll hit you back with details and questions.
The more of you that sign up, the more we learn about what's "healthy" and what's not. Gang, never have these words been more true: to go far, we must go together.
Privacy Statement and FAQs
We are signing people up initially to express their interest in being a part of our Beta Testing. Registering your email to the Beta Testers list just gives us a way to contact and connect with prospective participants to start a dialogue, keep them informed and eventually consent those who remain interested in a research study. Contact information (email address, phone number, mailing address, etc) will never be given or sold to any other company or entity. Those records are kept private within the company, and since we are collecting health information from you. We are required to keep that information confidential.
The purpose of the beta testing program is two fold:
Our first objective is to provide the FDA (the government's consumer protection agency for drugs, devices, diagnostics and more) with enough confidence that our sample collection device works the way we say it should.
Practically speaking, this means that we will extract genomic material from the tampons we collect, do some analytics on the results (how much DNA / RNA are we getting, how degraded or intact the nucleic acids are) and provide it to the regulatory bodies so they can clear the product for broader use.
Our second objective is to develop an internal proprietary database to understand what is healthy and what is "not healthy." This type of database is the bedrock of understanding when a woman has become sick just by looking at the biomarkers in her tampon.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do we protect the privacy of our volunteers in clinical research?
As soon as you sign up to be a part of our study, you are assigned a randomly generated alpha-numeric code and any information you provide is associated with that code.
There is a single location that will store the link between any identifying information (such as your name) and this code. It will be tracked on a physical piece of paper (not digital) in case we need to contact you for follow up reasons. The reason we do this is so that we can contact you if:
we need to request an additional sample because the first sample failed to make it through our processing pipeline
we would like to gauge your interest in participating in future studies
It is important to note that we only keep these records for 3 years after the study is completed, and then we are required by law to destroy them. Once that happens, there is no way to associate your identity to any of the data or health information you provide to us.
Do you share our data with third parties?
Sometimes part of our work might be sponsored by a government grant (from the National Institutes of Health, for example). If it is, we would be required to share our results with NIH, but, under HIPAA guidelines, we would never provide any identifying information. All data would be anonymized.
Sometimes we work with academic collaborators who are also working to push forward medical research, often from a different angle. Again, if we had a data sharing contract with them, we would not share any identifying information.
Would my data ever be sold to a third party?
One of the exciting things about pushing forward research into women's health is the prospect of informing drug development. We hope that our data can help make safer and more effective drugs for diseases that women face. In the future, if we decide to collaborate with pharmaceutical companies to improve their drug profiles, we would explicitly consent participants into that research. This study, however, does not cover that type of work, and so we would need additional consent from participants to do that.