"Regrettably, effective today, we are terminating our consumer program," the team wrote in an unsigned note. "Our decision to do so is attributable to the simple fact that the cost of providing the service exceeds what our customers can pay for it. We believe the costs of collecting the genetic, blood and microbiome assays that form the foundation of the program will eventually decline to a point where the program can be delivered to consumers cost-effectively. However, we are unable to continue to operate at a loss until that time arrives."
Launched in 2015, Arivale offered extensive mail-order testing kits for a variety of biomarkers including genetics, microbiomics, and lifestyle factors like activity and diet. The company also offered a personalized dashboard that turned all that data into personalized health and wellness recommendations and insights. Users of the service can still access their dashboards at wellness.arivale.com.
WHAT'S THE IMPACT
The letter seems to carefully specifiy that the company is terminating its consumer program, but doesn't say that the company is shutting down completely. This is notable because GenomeWeb reported just a few months ago that Arivale had an embarked on a bevy of research partnerships with the likes of Providence St. Joseph Health, California's Hoag Health Network, the Swedish Cancer Institute, the University of Michigan, and Colgate. Arivale also told GenomeWeb that the company had collected a "critical mass" of data from its users.
So it's entirely possible that Arivale is continuing on in some capacity, working with the data it has already collected. MobiHealthNews has reached out to Arivale for clarification and will update this post if we hear back.
WHAT'S THE TREND
Direct-to-consumer business models are notoriously difficult in healthcare, especially when pioneering new models of healthcare. But some of Arivale's competitors appear to be faring better.
Segterra, which makes a similar offering called InsideTracker, is still in operation and signed an agreement last year with Blue Cross Blue Shield, as well as launching a new genetics-based product with Helix. But InsideTracker only looks at blood tests and genomics, as oppoped to the many biomarkers Arivale tracked.
As for microbiome companies, it's a mixed bag. Viome raised $15 million a few years ago for a microbiome test kit, but uBiome, one of the leaders in the space, was just raided by the FBI for possible alleged insurance fraud.
Consumerization of Healthcare
In April, we'll look at the consumerization of healthcare from a variety of angles, including how to treat patients as customers.