Frequently Asked Questions

Why a venous blood draw? Why not a simple finger prick home test?

A venous blood draw provides a larger and more homogeneous sample compared to methods like finger pricks or dry blood spot tests. This volume and consistency are crucial because they allow for the accurate quantification of a wide range of biomarkers, including those present in low abundance. The dilution factor in venous samples is more controlled, reducing the variability that can arise from differences in capillary blood flow or tissue fluid contamination, which are common in finger prick samples.

Furthermore, the reliability of venous sampling is backed by extensive validation across various conditions and patient populations, making it a gold standard in clinical diagnostics. Venous blood draws enable comprehensive testing, including complete blood counts, metabolic panels, and specialized assays like those for infectious diseases and immune function, which are often not feasible with smaller samples from finger pricks or dry blood spots.

In contrast, while finger prick and dry blood spot tests offer convenience and minimal invasiveness, they face challenges such as the effects of hematocrit variability, which can significantly influence the concentration of analytes. These methods are more susceptible to errors from improper sample handling or environmental exposure, impacting the stability of certain analytes. Additionally, the limited sample volume restricts the scope of tests that can be conducted simultaneously, potentially necessitating multiple collections and thus diminishing the patient convenience factor they strive to enhance.

What is the ProdromeScan?

The blood test recently featured in this magazine is the ProdromeScan, offered by ProdromeSciences through a network of doctors. For those who prefer a proactive approach to optimizing their health, ProdromeScan is also available to "self-directed researchers" through OpenCures. Detailed information can be found on the Prodrome Sciences website and Dr. Goodenowe's personal website.

Since the ProdromeScan requires a blood sample, we provide blood draw services at the OpenCures location in Novato. Additionally, we collaborate with mobile phlebotomists for remote blood draws. This service, while more expensive at around $120, should be seen as a worthwhile investment in your health and well-being, ensuring you have the convenience and flexibility to monitor your health on your terms.

Please note that the ProdromeScan requires fasting for at least 8 hours, ideally 12 hours. If your results indicate non-optimal levels, we offer workshops that discuss corrective actions, including lifestyle changes, diet, and supplements. You can also watch the OpenCures testing experience also here.

How can the ProdromeScan help you restore and maintain your health?

Kevin Perrot, PhD, CEO & Co-founder: “I'm 58 and it was my interest in what was happening "under the hood" that led me to get my PhD and create OpenCures to take advantage of the scientific equipment I used in my lab work. I have since used the ProdromeScan to adjust some pretty severe deficiencies in my lifestyle and diet that I wasn't even aware existed.  I'm generally pretty skeptical on what anything can "do" but since I've taken actions to correct those deficiencies (supplements mostly) I have been surprised at just how much better and healthier I feel.  I'm not saying that everyone will have the same result, but it's enough for me to confidently say you wouldn't be wasting your money.”
You can read more about Kevin Perrot on his LinkedIn profile and this article can provide you with a bit of a background too. If you are interested in the assay and have some knowledge of biology and biochemistry, you may find the CEO of ProdromeSciences’ personal website particularly informative. It provides a detailed explanation of the assay's usefulness. Additionally, you can watch the OpenCures testing experience also here.

Purchasing directly from Prodrome Sciences vs. from OpenCures

Our offerings are fundamentally different. OpenCures engages directly with individuals and has an exclusive arrangement with ProdromeSciences to provide the ProdromeScan for personal research use. While purchasing directly from ProdromeSciences requires going through a medical professional, as noted on their website, OpenCures provides a unique opportunity for self-directed research. When you choose OpenCures, you gain access to a personal workshop for interpreting your results. This workshop, led by the CEO of ProdromeSciences, offers you in-depth insights and guidance. In contrast, purchasing through a medical professional means your results will be interpreted by a doctor.

How can I schedule a blood scan?

We have a running blood sampling service business at our location in Novato, CA, or through mobile phlebotomy. We offer this service currently only through personal contacting:

Kevin Perrott
+1 415-500-1377

How is the procedure of a ProdromeScan?

After purchasing the Prodrome Scan from our online shop, you can schedule a blood draw at our Novato location or with a mobile phlebotomist. Before the blood draw, you will need to complete an intake questionnaire intake questionnaire. Please ensure you have fasted for at least 8 hours, though 12 is ideal. It's also beneficial to stay hydrated, and we can provide water upon your arrival. The blood collection follows a specific protocol and is performed by a certified phlebtomist from Bay Area Phlebotomy and Lab Services, with whom we share a space. The blood draw follows this protocol.

Part of your sample will be sent to ProdromeSciences in San Diego for analysis. The remainder can be aliquoted and biobanked for your future use or any research you might want to participate in. Biobanking is optional but highly recommended for ongoing health optimization.

Results from the ProdromeScan will be available within 1-2 weeks. We have also launched a platform where you can view your results and compare them with other health data, such as that from wearables. Along with the data and report, you will receive a workshop led by Dr. Dayan Goodenowe, the CEO of ProdromeSciences and the inventor of the assay. These workshops are typically held on Wednesdays at 6 PM PST, about 2-3 weeks after the blood draw.

You can watch the OpenCures testing experience also here.

Do you offer other blood panels as well?

OpenCures helps people to access research technologies that can look into their health that are not normally available and not reimbursable by health insurance.  We can send blood for testing for standard biomarkers (such as thyroid and cholesterol biomarkers) but at the moment those tests are covered by the client.   
One of the research-grade assays we use is called the ProdromeScan available from ProdromeSciences which is the one that most people are interested in for examining their general health. It provides some standard markers like cholesterol values but mainly metabolomic biomarkers. 
If you have some specific biomarkers you are interested in, there is a handy list available here which can give you an idea as to the range.

Can my expenses be reimbursed by health insurance?

The short answer is no, we offer scientific grade tests to individuals which are normally not available to the consumer directly. Due to the proactive nature of our offerings, the expenses can't be reimbursed. However the ProdromeScan is offered to medical professionals to use for treating diseases, so depending on your individual case your doctor might be able to offer reimbursement.
If you have some specific biomarkers you are interested in, there is a handy list available here which can give you an idea as to the costs of standard blood biomarkers in comparison.

What is your biobanking service? How does it work?

The biobanking is an additional service we provide, to store the rest of the sample in a frozen environment for evtl. future use. The ownership and the access control to the biobanked sample remains in your custody. For example there is a new assay or a new biological age clock developed, you can run these on older samples and have a more reliable comparison of value changes.
We offer these services worldwide, though we might have to rely on you to organize and ship a blood sample from your location, as our mobile phlebotomy currently works only nationwide in the US. We can provide the protocol necessary for the blood draw and shipment.
We offer this service directly to the consumer, there is no need to involve your doctor.

Where do you offer your services?

We offer our services to consumers worldwide, though we might have to rely on you to organize and ship a blood sample from your location, as our mobile phlebotomy currently works only nationwide in the US. We can provide the protocol necessary for the blood draw and shipment.

Which supplements do you offer?

We offer newly developed interventions before they arrive to the mass market. Our goal is not to focus our business to profit from the selling of supplements, but rather to increase the availability of products to proactive consumers which want to take their health into their own hands. Our Mission is making health, which is the only real wealth.

Explore our current offering in our online shop.

What can the online platform do for me?

Our OpenCures Platform is meant to be a single place to bring all your health data together and conduct your own analysis to find correlations and insights in your health.
You can import health data from all sources like wearables, other lab tests, symptom and meal tracking apps, and many more. The most use of your aggregated data is to then participate in experiments or studies to advance research and get even more access to unavailable interventions or tests or deeper insights in your health. For free...

How can i get my ProdromeScan data into the OpenCures Platform?

This is the best part, we do that automatically for you. So you can access your report results anytime by logging into your my.opencures account and compare it to other health data.

Can I use the platform with my smartphone?

Yes, we have optimized the web application for all devices. Especially for quick symptom logging we know that is essential.

Which data can i import?

Yes, we have optimized the web application for all devices. Especially for quick symptom logging we know that is essential.

Is it a lot of effort to import my data?

Our goal is to make importing as easy and as fast as possible. Especially if you have self tracked or exported data in spreadsheets and for devices where API's or connected Accounts don't exist yet. This is why we focused on a general CSV file import routine which offers a lot of possibilities to import large data sets with multiple markers and multiple dates at once. Also for PDF-Reports from Lab diagnostics we have an import feature which pulls the data automatically out of the document. Upload the file and thats it!
Here is a video showing an example use. Find even more tutorial videos here.

Is my data secure?

All of your data is securely stored in state-of-the-art cloud services and secured with 2-Factor-Authentication if you use the Google login. Any sensitive information you import to your account is only accessible to you unless you are willingly sharing it. Before any sharing in groups or experiments you will be informed and asked for consent.

Who owns my data?

Only you own your data. We never share your identifiable data with 3rd parties. You can export or delete all of your data at any time. Our mission is to help the community to get new insights to develop new interventions through intentionally shared data.

How can i manage my trial with OpenCures?

In short: We offer user- and data handling for trial organizations from community experiments to clinical trials. You can create a descriptive landing page for your study to publish with a feature rich protocol- and material list builder. Participants can join and are guided through the protocol with the right information at the right time. Build consents and questionnaires to collect participation information. Access raw and structured data from your participants cohort.
For a look into the platform watch our introduction and tutorial videos. Feel free to contact us for a demo and we consult you on how to make the best use of our services for your specific needs.

Is OpenCures a for-profit?

OpenCures is a public benefit corporation, which is a for-profit company that takes into consideration the interests of non-financial stakeholders.  We started as a non-profit initially to then realize that it was not the right legal vehicle to provide the products and tools fast and efficient enough. Finally we discovered that the quite new format of a for-benefit is the best fit with advantages from both.
People who use OpenCures services are interested in using science and research tools to measure their health as "self-directed researchers". Our Mission is making health, which is the only real wealth.