DNA profiling company gives tailored advice on diet and lifestyle
Trying to keep fit and healthy can be an everyday challenge for most people, but there is not a one-size-fits-all solution, something that genetics company DNAfit knows well. With an Olympic athlete and genetics pioneer behind the product, genetic testing service DNAfit wants to give consumers clarity on the best way they can stay healthy and help prevent diseases based on their genetic make-up.
We spoke to Andrew Steele, Head of Product at DNAfit and Olympic Bronze Medal winner at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, about how the company is empowering consumers to make more informed choices about their fitness and nutrition.
Personalised and informed lifestyle choices
In 2013, DNAfit was born out of a mission to use genetics to inspire people to live healthier and happier lives, turning scientific information into user-friendly, highly personalised and easy to understand health insights for everyday life. The inspiration for DNAfit came from consumers being faced with a confusing world of contradictory ‘fad diets’ and ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions.
“We built a product to help consumers better understand their ‘nature’, or the way their genetics influence their health,” says Andrew. “We wanted to educate people on how to make better, more personalised educated decisions around their nutrition, their workout choices and managing stress and sleep.”
How DNAfit works
Users will receive the genetic testing kit, and within the kit is everything needed to take a DNA sample. A cotton bud saliva swab is rubbed on the inside of the cheek, for about a minute, in order to collect some cells. They then post the kit to the laboratory where the DNA is extracted and analysed through a variety of complex reactions.
From this, DNAfit will pull up data on the genetic variants that shape the personalised fitness and diet reports, a process which takes approximately 10 days to complete. Customers then receive a detailed analysis on their DNA blueprint, including recommendations around diet and training based on their personal genetic make-up, delivered by an online portal. By purchasing the new Health Fit hero product, for the first time users can even receive insights on their genetic predispositions to sleep and stress.
“Every customer receives their own personal consultation call with a DNAfit nutritionist or sports scientist. This stage is crucial as it enables the consumer to accurately interpret their reports, and work with DNAfit to create an actionable plan.”
In 2018 Prenetics, a US$50m genetic company backed by Alibaba and based in Hong Kong, acquired DNAfit. “Working with Prenetics, we have achieved true global scale, with the brand accelerating its mission to offer consumers a sustainable wellness proposition for every step of their life,” says Andrew.
Being an AXA Health Tech & You Awards finalist
When asked how they felt to be chosen as a finalist of the AXA Health Tech & You Excellence in Health Tech category, Avi Lasarow, CEO of Prenetics International and DNAfit said: “It’s a true honour for our achievements here at DNAfit and Prenetics to be recognised by being shortlisted for the AXA Health Tech & You Awards.
“As ever, any recognition such as this only makes us even more eager to continue our mission and explore how understanding genetics can help us live happier, healthier lives. Our ground-breaking research and world class development teams will continue to drive us forward, and we are continuously working on further democratising the world of preventative health and supporting insurers to move from payers to partners.”
The Excellence in Health Tech category sought exceptional entrepreneurs with a credible and established solution, who have successfully collaborated with multiple partners, broken siloed thinking while relentlessly focusing on user experience.