By Steve Dickman, CEO, CBT Advisors
One secret to both improving consumer health and making money in healthcare IT is the feedback loop: providing a person with her own data as a way to improve compliance and performance. Once she knows, for example, that this meal or that workout leads to success, there is a strong incentive to follow a regimen, make appropriate changes, and then look again. Until recently, feedback loops were clunky. A daily weigh-in. An annual physical. But consumers – dieters, runners, the health-conscious – want much more frequent, high-quality and personalized feedback.
Boston-area newco Segterra is forging new territory with its product www.InsideTracker.com. Segterra is the first to offer healthy consumers a regular glimpse of their own biomarker data coupled with data-driven recommendations for diet and exercise. In exchange for a one-time payment ranging from $169 to $249, InsideTracker provides a blood test (performed at work or home if you are in Massachusetts) and compares the results for key markers with population norms. As Segterra CEO Lee Gartley stated last month in the Boston Globe’s InnoEco blog, “…the online test results ‘show you your levels on a set of biomarkers that we’ve identified as being important for overall health and fitness, like glucose, cholesterol, calcium, and vitamin D… Your levels of creatine kinase, for instance, can tell you whether you have muscle damage from biking too far or bench-pressing a few too many pounds. The report can also suggest foods that can counteract low levels of a particular vitamin or mineral, or ways to vary your exercise regimen for the best results.”
The founders of Segterra learned from the positive examples of successful HIT startups FitBit and RunKeeper. Each of these also depends on consumer’s own data to provide recommendations and create a feedback loop. But unlike these other companies, Segterra collects data that consumers could not measure any other way and then applies its analytics to that data in ways that will yield increasing benefits the more consumers sign up.
Given the growing number of tools available, we expect this trend of self-measurement to surge.
As an advisor to this company, I have a stake in their success. But this in turn provides a special opportunity for my readers. Respond in the comments and include your email address and I will send you a discount code good for $50 off the first test. Don’t worry, I will not publish your email address. I’ll certainly be interested in your experience with InsideTracker. (The service works for those who have access to a clinical lab in the United States – stay tuned for international offers).
# # #