Of late, there has been a surge in the number of people suffering from health-related issues. This can be put down to a combination of common factors, including an unhealthy lifestyle, genes, and a high-calorie intake. In today's world, and in the light of the pandemic, having a healthcare infrastructure that can forecast diseases and illnesses in advance is a blessing. One such player is NuGenomics, a DNA-based wellness organisation that allows individuals to predict every likely turn their health might take, for the worse or for the better. Such a possibility helps reduce the risk of being struck down by a disease that may be incurable. Rahul Ranganathan, the Co-founder of NuGenomics, answers questions, on the advantages, challenges and future of DNA-based diagnosis.
1. Tell us about NuGenomics? What are your views about the shift to genetic trend in India?
We believe that the human body is a masterpiece and we need to look at it from multiple perspectives to understand it better. NuGenomics is a DNA-based, data-driven health and wellness organization. We operate in a space we like to call ‘Predictive Healthcare’ where we analyze consumer health from 5 different sources to predict health issues and take corrective action today to reduce the risk of the issues occurring tomorrow.
● The Genetic Analysis predicts all possible paths that the health of an individual may take.
● The Blood Analysis along with Medical History and Physical Parameters identify the path already taken.
● The Lifestyle Analysis identifies the lifestyle trigger points that prompted the genes to react in a particular manner forcing the individual down that path.
Combining these points we create interventions that pull an individual from the path already taken and put them on a better, more sustainable path for the future.
Compared to the developed nations of the west, we are lagging by almost a decade. While the concept of a genetic test is not new in the country; it has been used in the area of forensics, paternity identification, and diagnosis of life-threatening genetic disorders for several years now. The use of the technology towards predicting health outcomes and rehabilitating lifestyle conditions is novel in India. At the same time, we see an increase in awareness towards healthcare in the Indian population. The unfortunate devastation caused by Covid has made people realize the importance of avoiding co-morbidities, having a healthy immune system and brought words like RT-PCR from the confines of a laboratory into public discourse. These are encouraging signs and we hope the trend towards health awareness continues.
2.How has the progress been for the brand since the launch? What are the brand’s vision and expansion plans?
It took us almost 2 years with multiple Ph.Ds and Post-Docs working to get a hand on the enormity of health data required for predictive profiling and completing our on-ground testing before launching the brand in July 2021. The last 8 months have been very exciting. We have several hundred users on board, word of mouth and referrals from our existing users forms a large chunk of our new users. We have also started working with multiple organizations including Myntra, CarDekho, Purple Quarters, and Gameskraft to name a few. These organizations stand out in providing the best of health and wellness initiatives for their employees in a time when it is direly needed.
Products catering to the needs of athletes and sportspeople along with definitive modules towards diabetes reversal and reversal of hypertension are in the pipeline. My parents are diabetic and I'm doing this for them with the hope that a million others would get benefitted. While health interventions exist, the challenge is to identify what intervention would work for whom, provide it in a manner that is consistent with the lifestyle of the person so that it is easy to follow and sustainable. It's an exciting problem to solve and we have a team more than capable of winning this.
The parent organization of NuGenomics (Answer Genomics) is heavily involved in R&D. The aim for us is to reach a point where we are able to predict or in the bare minimum facilitate early diagnosis or life-threatening conditions such as cancer. This is at least 5 years in the future and would require biological information from a million users to ensure the robustness of the predictions. We imagine a future where a heart attack is predicted before it occurs. Imagine the number of lives we can save.
3.What is the Integrated Health Analysis Protocol? How is artificial intelligence used in genetic testing? Kindly explain it to our readers.
Let’s understand this using the most common case. A substantial part of our population is overweight or obese. Several factors cause weight gain and make it difficult to lose weight. The most commonly known factors include a sedentary lifestyle and a higher caloric intake but this is not even scratching the surface of the problem. The other factors, just to name a few includes:
● The distribution of macro-nutrients: each body is unique and finds a given source of energy more acceptable than another. We need to know that source for an individual.
● Intolerances: cause sub-clinical inflammation, bloating and hinders the absorption of nutrients by the body
● Hormones: Estrogen, insulin, cortisol to name a few that have a dramatic impact on weight
● Sleep cycle: singlehandedly responsible for nearly a 10% change in BMI
● Underlying medical conditions: Diabetes, PCOD, Metabolic Syndrome to name a few
● Psychological factors that result in the cycle of motivation going up and down
● Genetic factors also govern how much fat your body prefers to store and the impact exercise has on it including what type and what time.
So we analyze your genes, your blood parameters, your medical history, your lifestyle altogether. We combine and overlay this information to figure out what is causing the issue for you and how to correct it. That is Integrated Health Analysis Protocol. Combining all these, there are about a million data points being analyzed and managed with the help of A.I. our recommendations change according to the change in your parameters this is based on a Machine Learning platform.
4.How is DNA-based testing helpful for people? Share some USPs.
One of the biggest USPs of our approach is that you bring down trial and error. So, if you are looking to lose weight, don’t just go for fad diets, know what’s going to work for you. If you are looking to gain muscle, know what exercise you should do at what intensity and at what time of the day. Understand the root cause of diseases and know what steps you need to take in order to recover. As an athlete, you know what’ll help you reduce the chances of injury and help you to recover faster. Nearly 80% of people following our recommendations have experienced weight loss, improved their blood parameters, and have experienced higher energy levels.
DNA is the source code of life. If so far you have believed that you are unique, then you are right because you are, and a large part of that is attributed to the fact that your DNA is unique. The way it responds to the environment is unique. This understanding helps us modulate our environment in ways that increase the chances of leading a healthy life for a longer period.
5.Kindly share a few brand success stories and why genetic testing is the need of the hour
Genetic information forms an important piece of information that helps you personalize your healthcare and helps you manage your health in a better way. Confucius once said, “A sick person only wants one thing, while the healthy person wants ten thousand things.” Isn’t that true? As long as we are healthy, physically and mentally, we want more out of life. That might just be the most important offering you can have for someone – the audacity to want more out of life.
We’ve helped people lose weight, gain control over diabetes, help get their blood pressure under control without medication among others. Please visit our website at nugenomics.in and go through some of the testimonials for yourself.