Innovators use epigenetics to track health and wellbeing
Being able to see information about your DNA is fast becoming the norm, with a number of kits out there allowing you to see insights into your health and ancestry. However, a group of innovators and scientists are on a mission to bring personalised insights into how the environment can impact DNA.
Epigenetics is simply the science of how these environmental factors can influence the control of our DNA, something that company Chronomics wants to bring to consumers to help them to improve their health and wellbeing.
Chronomics, who recently won the AXA Health Tech & You Innovation in Health Tech category, tell us the inspiration behind their technology and how they think it can change the way we think about preventative healthcare.
The science of epigenetics
During their studies at the University of Cambridge, co-founders Dr Toby Call and Dr Tom Stubbs realised the potential for epigenetics in the way we develop preventative healthcare solutions. “We were originally working on the epigenetics of ageing, where epigenetics predicts your biological age,” says Toby.
“We realised this methodology was extremely powerful for analysing DNA and how it changes over time – this enables repeatable testing, which shows up-to-date health risks.” Epigenetic change is natural but it can be influenced by things such as exposure to pollution, what we eat, how much we exercise, and our sleep quality.
Repeatable and actionable testing
Chronomics is an at-home epigenetic testing kit, offering insights into a person’s health by looking at their DNA. Epigenetics is simply the science of how the environment can influence the control of our DNA.
The individual sends a sample of their saliva to a team of scientists who extract and analyse the DNA. After 8-12 weeks they receive personalised epigenetic insights on a secure online account, revealing how the biggest risk factors for chronic lifestyle and environment-related diseases are impacting us.
“Following the analysis, Chronomics will connect you with health professionals who will guide you through making changes on your personalised health journey.
“What makes us different is that you can test again and see how your lifestyle changes have helped you to improve over time.”
Being an AXA Health Tech & You Awards winner
When asked how they felt to be the winners of the AXA Health Tech & You Innovation in Health Tech category, Toby said: "Chronomics is over the moon to have won the Innovation in Health Tech Award, it felt like a real privilege to be recognised as part of the future of health tech.
“This affirms the mission we have set out to achieve, and gives due recognition to the importance of the field of epigenetics for healthcare. Forging productive partnerships with industry leaders in proactive health management is key to disseminating to a wider audience where it can begin improving people's lives as fast as possible."
Innovators are always searching for solutions to ever-growing challenges, and this category has been looking to identify this technology in its early stage, continuing to help people improve the health of themselves and their family.
Head judge Julie Bretland, CEO of Our Mobile Health said: “The fellow judges and I of the Innovation in Health Tech Category felt that Chronomics was outstanding in this category because of its bold and transformative approach to the future of health technology, with a credible and scientific foundation behind the innovation.”