Vitagene: Personalizing Healthcare

Nikhil Arun, Vice President of Product and Chief of Staff, VitageneVisiting a doctor may not be most people’s favorite activity. In such a scenario, wouldn’t it be brilliant if individuals could examine their health, and get a hands-on diet or exercise plan without visiting a doctor? A few years ago, this idea might have sounded absurd, but in the year 2019, it is a reality. Using individuals’ DNA and lifestyle, one can determine certain traits related to nutrition, exercise, and supplementation as well as their ethnic composition.

Vitagene, through its platform, allows some of the largest companies in America to give personalized nutrition, supplementation, exercise, and skincare plans to their clients. For example, GNC customers receive personalized daily packs of supplements at their doorstep based on their lifestyle and DNA because of Vitagene’s platform.

The Genesis

The journey of Vitagene began half a decade ago by selling a DNA health testing kit. However, the ultimate goal was to provide personalized healthcare in an effortless manner and at an affordable cost. Thus, the company developed a platform that provides medical supplements and other health reports required by clients with specific guidelines concerning food habits, genetics, or diseases. “Our personalized healthcare products provide diet plans, fitness plans, and health supplements based on the lifestyle and DNA analysis of a particular individual,” says Nikhil Arun, Vice President of Product and Chief of Staff for Vitagene.

Having a sea of experience in the digital marketing space, Arun established In-Video Impressions in the year 2017, an audience targeting, digital advertising, and customer acquisition company. The company was acquired by Vitagene in 2019 to accelerate the delivery of personalized health and wellness products across Vitagene’s clients, and Arun joined Vitagene as the head of growth. Arun quickly rose to oversee all of Vitagene’s day to day functions, which include science, operations, product, marketing, legal, and technology. Since then, Arun has quickly deployed the platform’s offerings to some of the largest companies in the world, accelerating Vitagene’s growth massively. Prior to founding In-Video Impressions, Arun spent five years at Microsoft and is an alumnus of Duke University with degrees in Computer Science and Business.

Meaningful Personalized DNA reports

Vitagene offers a DNA testing kit and Ancestry report for any individual that is interested in getting the best diet, fitness, skin, and supplement plans.

Our personalized healthcare products provide diet plans, fitness plans, and health supplements based on the lifestyle and DNA analysis of a particular individual

The company’s DNA testing kit is manufactured following FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practice regulations. Once the DNA kit is ordered, it reaches the customers within three to five days. To begin with, the customers have to send a sample of their saliva to the CLIA-certified lab for a comprehensive analysis. They can either use Vitagene’s DNA kit to submit a new sample or upload an existing DNA file.

Meanwhile, when the sample is being processed, they are requested to spare a few minutes to fill out their health-related information. The DNA sample is run through the sophisticated algorithm that compares it to a comprehensive database of the world’s latest peer-reviewed research on genomics, nutrition, and exercise. Subsequently, the results from the DNA tests are compiled into actionable, user-friendly health reports (diet, exercise, and supplement), which help users to personalize their nutrition, exercise, and supplement plans.

These reports are created using only the latest available research in the fields of genetics and nutrition. The platform analyzes an individual’s ethnic ancestry related health conditions, and based on that, it recommends the diet and discovers the right food for an individual. The platform also creates reports for calorie breakdown, lactose sensitivity, caffeine metabolism, gene mutation detection, and alcohol metabolism, to name a few. In the exercise report, the platform provides information about muscle cramps, interactive workout plans, exercise behavior, weight, and blood pressure response to exercise. In the supplement report, the user can view the top-recommended supplements, specific dosages, and the reason for the recommendation. Besides, the report further adds 13 essential vitamins and nutrients required by an individual.

Maintaining Privacy + Accuracy

Vitagene’s clinical labs follow the standards prescribed by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988(CLIA) and College of American Pathologists (CAP) to ensure that each test performed meets the accuracy and is 100 percent reliable. Reports are continuously updated based on new scientific research. Arun says, “We have tons of scientific articles that we are indexing daily, so as the science changes, everyone gets an update.” In addition to the test, the lab ensures the protection of the user’s genetic information. To protect a user’s privacy, Vitagene stores the samples without the user’s name or common identifying information. The lab destroys the DNA saliva sample after completing the analysis.

The ‘X’ Factor

Vitagene’s technology is in a ready-to-deploy phase and leverages big data and machine learning to provide personalized, actionable diet, fitness, and supplement recommendations to its members. The company’s diligent team consists of many scientists, and these medical experts have developed the largest nutrition genetics database available to support an individual’s results. The technology has witnessed a positive reaction from the market after its launch, and as people have started to shift more towards personalization, the Vitagene platform is gaining traction quickly.

A glimpse of the Future

Founded in 2014, Vitagene quickly came under the limelight as a finalist for the 2016 Innovations in Healthcare™ ABBY Awards. In the years to come, the company is eyeing to expand its operation in different countries and industries. “We want to be the best in the world at helping clients launch personalized, engaging, data-driven health and wellness products fast and easy. Our clients aren’t just another bottle on the shelf. We help them be their customers' one-stop-shop,” concludes Arun.