MyVytalics, Helix team up for genomics sleep product

Consumer genomics company Helix has partnered with MyVytalics on a new app that gives users insights about how their genes play into their sleep patterns and health.
By Laura Lovett
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From ancestry to wine pallet preferences, consumer genomics have fueled both popular curiosity and public discourse. Now MyVytalics, a relative newcomer in the space that focuses on healthy aging, is teaming up with major player in the consumer genomics space Helix to release a new personal genomics app that will look at how genes play in to sleep patterns and nutrition. In the future, the two companies plan to work together to develop more consumer genomic apps that focus on healthy aging. 

“We are at a tipping point in our understanding of DNA. We believe this empowering information should be accessible to everyone to help improve their lives,” Adrian Vilalta, co-founder of MyVytalics, said in a statement. 

MySleepInsights will work like other Helix products: users get a DNA test kit in the mail, then send a saliva sample back to Helix’s test center, where it is sequenced, and will get results in eight weeks. Like other Helix apps, if a person has already had their DNA sequenced by Helix, it can be stored by the company and will speed up the process. 

In addition to sleep patterns, the app will give users genomic information about their body’s response to alcohol, caffeine, and certain vitamins. According to Helix’s webpage it can also give users their chronotype, which determines if they are an early risers or night owls. 

Users can opt into the MyJourney research program, which means their data can be used for product development. If they chose to participate they will also get access to speculative insights for ongoing research. 

Helix’s business model is built on teaming up with specialist companies for different products. 

“Consumers don’t have genetic questions. They typically just have questions they hope genetics can help them answer,” James Lu, cofounder and vice president of applied genomics at Helix, told MobiHealthNews in June. “What we are focused on with ourselves and our partners is how do we best answer the questions that consumers care about?… “[W]e want to enable third parties that are specialists in their area to offer interpretations in context. So, when we talk about the story of where you’re from we have the National Geographic, [and] we think one of the best companies in the world to talk about your health is Mayo Clinic.”