The COVID-19 pandemic has taught people one important lesson, i.e., to take care of their health. A healthy lifestyle, nutritious food, and regular exercise are a must for staying fit and healthy.
New Delhi-based wellOwise aims to help people live a healthy life by realising the potential health risks and diseases. Founded in 2018 by Dr Saher Mehdi and Manish Kumar, wellOwise is a precision health startup aimed at preventing lifestyle diseases and delivering a precision diagnosis.
Speaking with YS, Co-founder and CEO Manish explains that wellOwise provides personalised dietary and supplement recommendations to help people stay healthy. It also assigns lifestyle coaches who provide clinical and fitness consultations to stay fit.
“We are trying to help people optimise their health by translating health insights into personalised and dietary supplement recommendations. We all have unique genetics, different family histories, environment, and lifestyle. We test and analyse all these factors and understand the risk of lifestyle diseases among people. For example, with our insights, one can understand if they are prone to diabetes and can then take appropriate measures to avoid the disease,” he adds.
Delivering precision diagnosis
Dr Saher, Co-founder and Chief Scientist, wellOwise, explains that precision health broadly means taking into account genes, environments, and lifestyles of different people, assess possible health risks, and develop personalised prevention strategies.
“We look at changes in the genes of the person and compare them to the gene changes in the same ethnic set of population. For example, in diabetes, we track around 250 genes and within those genes, there might be 3,000 changes. We analyse the changes and prove a risk score of major, minor, or baseline in terms of getting the disease in future,” she explains.
With the score and data in place, wellOwise suggests nutritional, dietary, and clinical action plans to avoid the disease.
How does it work?
Dr Saher explains that users need to sign up and then fill in a risk assessment form. Post this, the team will collect blood or saliva samples and vitals from the doorstep. The results will be analysed using AI algorithms and the data will be available over a mobile app. Depending on the risk score and factors, the startup will recommend diet, nutrition, and fitness plans.
Apart from the blood trackers, the app will also enable users to track their food habits, sleep patterns, mood, etc., in order to analyse one’s lifestyle choices. The startup will also assign a health coach who will track the progress of the users.
“Depending on the needs of the patients, we ask them to follow the guidelines for two to three months. After this, we once again collect samples and run all the tests to understand if their health has improved and the risk has reduced. We regularly call them to understand if the plan is working for them and if not then we change it accordingly,” she explains.
Manish explains that wellOwise is mainly targeting people aged between the mid-20s and mid-40s as that is the time when people need to indulge in a healthy lifestyle and start taking care of themselves in order to reduce risks of diseases in the future.
Business and more
Manish reveals that wellOwise operates on a subscription-based model. It offers two programmes for the users — Rewise™ Basic Program and Rewise™ Advanced Program. While the basic program is priced at Rs 12,500, the advanced program costs Rs 24,000.
“We are also working with specialist doctors from institutions such as AIIMS Delhi, Medanta, Max Superspeciality, Lady Harding Medical College, Action Balaji, and Apollo to help them get access to patient’s data, lifestyle habits, and genetic changes in order to take better treatment decisions,” he adds.
According to the co-founder, currently, 600 people are enrolled as a part of the wellOwise programmes.
According to a 2020 report by MarketDataForecast, the Asia Pacific precision medicine market stood at $11.08 billion in 2020. Globally, companies such as LifeOmic Precision Health Cloud, Genome Medical boasts, and BillionToOne among others are some of the notable players in the market.
Speaking about future plans, Manish explains that the company is working extensively to raise awareness about precision healthcare in the country and is aimed at onboarding at least 8-10K users in the next 12 to 16 months.
Apart from this, wellOwise is also working with research labs in the UK and Turkey and is considering international expansion in these markets.