Avoiding deficiency symptoms with knowledge of biomarkers
Many people strive to build health literacy and maintain a sustainable healthy lifestyle. However, it is often difficult to follow or implement the latest findings from nutritional and preventive medicine.
The health startup myActiveLab (Nutrimya GmbH), founded in Hamburg in 2021, provides a solution with its app. So-called biomakers create the basis for this: These can be laboratory values, for example, but also markers such as body fat or resting pulse. Through the myActiveLab app, anyone can understand their relevant biomakers, continuously track them, and thus adjust their individual lifestyle accordingly, thereby improving well-being and health.
In an interview with 5-HT, Jannik Strohbeck, Co-founder & CEO, gives exciting insights into the work of the health startup and how people who understand and have their relevant biomakers under control also have their health under control.
How would you explain your solution in three sentences to a professional colleague from the health sector?
"Our app helps users identify, understand, track and continuously improve their relevant blood values and other vital signs. Our approach is: biomarkers are the key to health. Every healthy habit also affects the individual biomarkers. So if a person understands their relevant biomarkers, monitors them regularly, and adjusts their habits accordingly, they can optimize their health.
Essentially, our solution is building health literacy and healthy habits with an extended blood report digitalization function."
What problem motivated you to start the company?
"Originally, we started with the idea of sending out blood test kits. But we quickly realized that many people lack the health literacy to even know which biomarkers are relevant and worth testing. We noticed on ourselves that once this health literacy is established and the connections between lifestyle and relevant biomarkers become clear, the actual blood testing recedes into the background. Based on these insights, we have developed the concept of "biomarker-based habit building", which aims to build health literacy and establish healthy habits based on biomarker knowledge rather than on the biomarker values themselves. In short, we are on the mission to build health literacy for everyone."
How do you convince a pharmaceutical company, a health insurance company or another potential client to set up a pilot project with you?
"Our approach of biomarker-based habit building is unique in the market. Especially since we focus rather on building up health literacy and a healthy lifestyle than on just getting tested/ or monitoring the status quo.
This fundamentally deals with the root causes of the global health crisis – unhealthy lifestyle choices that led to civilization/ chronic diseases. For any insurer, it should be paramount to build up health literacy and to fight diseases before they occur. People with low health literacy do not only die earlier, they also cost the health system as a multiple more than people with high health literacy.
Therefore, any insurer supporting preventive services like ours, would not only add value to the insured, but also benefit the bottom line of the health system in the long run. With our App, we switch the paradigm of the health system from reactive to active."
Who are your current customers (groups) and who do you want your potential customers to be?
"Initially we focus on people with a high interest in optimizing their health. Within this segment especially two groups of people have been emerged: Health-conscious vegan people and performance-oriented athletes.
Plant based people are already familiar with getting blood work done (experts recommend getting tested at least once a year), since they are at a higher risk for a nutrient deficiency. Athletes also have a high interest in optimizing their biomarkers to reduce performance degrading factors, like nutrient deficiencies or imbalances in fat or carbohydrate metabolism.
Currently, our app is only available in the German-speaking DACH Region, but we also plan to roll out an English version soon."
Where do you see yourself in 3 years and how can 5-HT support you?
"We aim to be pioneers of a movement that enables users to ‘own their health’ and that changes the life of as many people as possible for the better. This would involve extending our target group and serving individuals that are at a higher risk for chronic diseases, thereby increasing the societal impact of our solution. Thus, in 3 years we aim to have users all around the globe from many different demographics.
For this, we need partners and/or advocates who want to work with us on the same problem."
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