At WellnessFX we’re excited to share good news on the product front, coming straight from CEO Jim Kean and COO Brent Vaughan, the company co-founders:
WFX: What can you share about the company progress and timeline?
Jim Kean: We’re excited to announce that we’ll be doing a limited Beta version of our service beginning this week. This comes on the heels of three years of research into the growing wellness and quantified health categories, successful funding of the business idea last year, and our successful Alpha testing for six months. Our Betas will be provided with two full diagnostic testing panels each followed by online coaching sessions with an MD, Pharmacist, and Clinical Nutritionist.
Brent Vaughan:The company has progressed dramatically in such a short period of time. Our early user testing has enabled us to go through a pretty high number of software revs and has yielded a software tool that helps our licensed medical practitioners provide a more consistent consumer-directed wellness experience. We’ve been struck both by how well consumers are engaging with the data to better understand their personal system biology and by how receptive doctors and other licensed medical practitioners are to the idea of being part of more collaborative interactions.
What initially got you excited about the idea of making personal health data more accessible?
JK: A number of anti-aging scientists and MDs understand that measuring and understanding our biology can have a profound influence on the trajectory of our biological aging much later in life. Traditional allopathic medicine is available to you when your health begins to deteriorate, but I wanted to know how healthy I was from a frame of what I could do about it now.
I’m pretty healthy, but like everyone, I have my biological strengths and weakness. Taking a deep dive into my key biomarkers to aggressively manage and direct my personal system biology into an optimal state seemed valuable, and I’m excited to have others try it for themselves.
BV: I’m enthusiastic about the potential of using cutting edge biotechnology and information technology to make consumers more informed and empowered to take responsibility for improving their health.
When I was working in oncology and diabetes care, I have seen people engage with their personal healthcare data. During those instances I observed that the thing that made the difference was not how simple or complex the data was, but instead how relevant or actionable it was to the user—I have observed that people will take the time to learn what they need to know about their health if you show them that they can then do something about it. It is exciting for me to see our early users doing this with their wellness!
Which groups do you see as most benefiting from WFX’s offerings?
BV: Consumers, medical practitioners and 3rd party payers all stand to gain tremendously. Although all three constituencies are important, our real focus is on the consumers at a time when many solutions are being targeted primarily at doctors and payers.
Although earlier stage preventative care is known to work, the problem has always been getting it paid for when the most significant benefit may be years out. We are focusing on our members because they are the group that cares most in the outcome—even if it is in the future.
JK: Globally, I believe that everyone can benefit from optimizing their personal system biology and markers. Regardless of your level of health, knowing at a profound level how you are operating can provide really important insights.
What has you most excited for the product launch?
JK: With all of our Alpha users, it’s been exciting to help people get tested and develop self awareness. Each time someone new signs up there is a palpable sense that a first step has been taken down the path of proactive personal health management. Surprisingly, the biggest “aha” that people consistently get is not the sophistication of the diagnostic platform WellnessFX provides, but rather the ability to have a multidisciplinary team schedule in-depth time with you. This is done in an online format to help you explore, understand, and ultimately manage your biomarkers.
We are also excited for practitioners as we really feel that our service can raise the level of positive interactions between health and wellness consumers and their practitioners. The data is organized and all of the scheduling and administration is taken care of. All that is required of a practitioner is that they log on at the appointed time for a really productive interaction with the consumer. Through the service the practitioner has the opportunity to constantly upgrade and improve their overall knowledge of the latest biomarkers as they become available.
BV: I’m excited about seeing how consumers with no healthcare or biology background can quickly understand and become empowered by the more technical data we are making usable. Once we show our users how the technical information is actionable, they will engage and become advocates about their experience.
It has also been great to see our early users make significant improvement to the biomarkers that correlate with better health outcomes. I always tell people that WellnessFX is not a game of the “The Biggest Loser”, you don’t need to dramatically overhaul your life to see improvement. I can’t wait for large numbers of people to experience relatively small daily changes yielding significant and measureable improvements in their health.
When Will the Product Be Available?
We are presently in Beta release. We anticipate increased availability in Q4 2011.