Seattle-based Arivale, which offers a testing kit and companion app to create tailored wellness plans, is now available in California.
Billed as the “scientific path to wellness,” Arivale offers people a package that includes a Fitbit, collection containers for saliva, urine, cheek swabs, and a prescribed order of blood tests to do on their own time, plus a companion app. Users download the app and complete an online assessment to share goals, health history and lifestyle, stress levels, personality and happiness. Once the data results are in (analyzed by independent, external clinical partner, LabCorp) users are paired with an Arivale coach. The goal is to create a personalized data cloud for each user based on their genetics, clinical lab results, gut microbiome, sleep and activity level.
“We’re here to optimize wellness,” Arivale CEO Clayton Lewis told MobiHealthNews in an interview. “We don’t treat illness. We look only at the genetics responsible for wellness – we curate the polygenetic risk scores based on the data profile, and then we set you up with a coach.”
Each "pioneer" as Arivale calls their clients, is offered an information dashboard structured into six health dimensions: diabetes risk, heart health, healthy aging, inflammation, optimal nutrition and stress management. The Arivale coach uses this dashboard to develop an individualized action plan for clients to make changes like removing a certain part of their diet – such as certain common allergens or even types of seafood. For example, Lewis found out his frequent sushi habit was racking up mercury in his body to toxic levels.
"Health isn't all about genetics," Lewis said. "So much of it is your behavior, but when you have this 'discovery asset' you get from genetic and microbiome testing, you can learn so much."
While individuals are forking over quite a bit of themselves, Arivale isn’t looking for information on any sort of diseases or disorders, and they aren’t offering up anything as involved as genetic counseling, although that is a long-term goal.
“Arivale is creating a new industry, scientific wellness — by combining dense, dynamic, personal data clouds and coaching to optimize wellness,” said Arivale co-founder Dr. Leroy Hood. “These data clouds enable Arivale to integrate and correlate genetic and lifestyle information to identify novel discoveries and provide actionable recommendations for the Arivale clients. As we collect more data over time, we will work to exponentially increase the number of actionable possibilities for optimizing wellness.”
As Lewis made clear, the service isn’t for people with illnesses, but people who want to get the most out of their lives. (Of course, if the external lab technicians do come a dangerous condition in the initial testing, they will advise the user to visit their doctor). Lewis himself is using the product to tailor his diet, sleep and behaviors to maximize his training for an IronMan competition.
“Our target spans three categories,” said Lewis. “Health Optimizers, like someone who wants to live a long time and do all kinds of exciting things; Health Hopefuls, who have recently had or known someone who had a health scare and wants to change their ways; and Health Demoralized, who have a number of unhealthy behaviors and want to change almost everything, but they don’t have a chronic illness – yet.”
Arivale, which was cofounded in 2014, has been offering its product since last year to users in Washington. In May 2015, the company raised $36 million in funding. Over the past year, they had 1,200 people try out the beta version, and expects a swift customer following in the new market.
“We chose California because we’ve had so much interest,” Lewis said. “We’ve received a lot of requests from people who want science-based feedback and coaching on how to maximize their wellness.”
At $3,500 for a one-year subscription to the service, and $1,000 following that, Arivale isn’t cheap, and it’s not a quick undertaking. It takes a few months to fully analyze and put the data to actionable use, and early testing took up to six months. Customers join, go through the concierge service of the app to make goals, get blood tests, wait for the results, then start figuring out a plan with their dietician/coach.
Over the next few months, Arivale will be looking at scaling up – hiring more coaches, partnering on research studies, exploring partnerships with payers, providers and employee-based wellness programs.
“Ultimately, there are a lot of places we want to take this, but we are scaling thoughtfully,” said Lewis.