Capitalizing on the culture’s growing obsession with health-monitoring through tech, a fitness-tracking company promises that its latest creation allows users to literally defy aging. Called InnerAge, the service from 5-year-old Boston-based InsideTracker takes a blood sample and scores it based on five biomarkers ranging from glucose to vitamin D. The algorithm-sourced results tell you whether your body is older or younger than your chronological age and suggests a range of foods that over time will help improve your score.
The service costs $99 per analyzed blood sample, which is recommended two or three times a year to better chart progress. InnerAge is positioned as a simpler version of InsideTracker’s more in-depth blood analysis programs, which can cost as much as $499 and are geared more toward elite athletes looking for optimal body performance.
“Think about how we take our cars to the mechanic every 5,000 miles and plug in and see what’s going on; we’re doing the same thing for your body through blood (work),” says Gil Blander, InsideTracker’s founder and chief science officer, and a former researcher on aging at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“We’re aiming for people most likely between 40 and 70 who feel the effects of aging and would like to delay the clock,” says Blander. “Most of the people in that group will score higher than their chronological age, but by suggesting specific foods for each individual, we can help change that.”
In addition to glucose and vitamin D, InsideAge delivers data on testosterone, hsCRP (an inflammation indicator) and ALT (liver damage indicator). Depending on the results, Blander says, an array of foods are suggested, including oatmeal, turkey, avocados, beans and various berries.
This decidedly custom-fit approach to using science and gadgets to improve health is at the cutting edge of the health-tech spectrum, which has seen its biggest growth in less invasive wearable fitness-monitoring category.
Gadgets ranging from wristbands such as FitBit to trackers built into smartphones, such as Apple’s new iHealth, offer a range of updates on how much our bodies have been pushed on a given day. Connected fitness tracking devices currently represent a $3.5 billion annual business.
The next frontier takes a page from Star Trek, whose fictitious Tricorder looked into the human body with the wave of a wand. Start-ups such as Silicon Valley’s Scanadu are working on products that would give customers the ability to monitor their health at home via saliva and blood samples.
InsideTracker’s InnerAge service uses algorithms to Bridging the gap between a gadget that tells you how many steps you took today and technology that requires blood to tell more complex physiological stories will require more communication between the industry’s players, says Harry Wang, director of mobile and health research at Dallas-based Parks Perspectives.