New at-home medical tests screen for STIs, thyroid problems, and more
As highlighted in our new Betterment report, young people are taking a DIY approach to their health and wellness. Instead of relying chiefly on doctors and big pharma, they’re being proactive by embracing alternative medicine and trying out at-home health tests that utilize their DNA and more for a personalized take on wellbeing.
A crop of at-home gut biome tests have entered the market recently, but uBiome is going beyond the belly with its new offering, an at-home women’s health kit called SmartJane. While the system does not screen for cancer and is not intended to replace traditional Pap smears, the test genotypes 14 high-risk HPV strains, five low-risk HPV strains, four common STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and mycoplasma genitalium), and measures 23 other vaginal flora. Unlike other at-home STI tests available from startups like MyLabBox or Everlywell, genotyping the organisms can help SmartJane determine the seriousness of the strain.
Touting its preventative and personalized approach to health, Thorne pivoted from being a supplement business to enter the DIY medical testing market. The company’s at-home collection tests provide insights around everything from the body’s levels of heavy metals like lead and mercury to thyroid imbalance and fertility. Thorne is also entering the wellness space with a urine test that helps people understand their sleep and a saliva test that provides insights about their stress response and adrenal health by measuring hormone fluctuations.
Genomics company Color recently rolled out a new offering that helps people learn if they’re at risk for heart disease. As a follow up to its Hereditary High Cholesterol Test, which helps identify people who are at risk of developing high cholesterol and associated events such as a heart attack or stroke, Color’s Hereditary Heart Health Test analyzes 30 genes that contribute to the structure, function and rhythm of a healthy heart. Mutations in these genes can lead to serious heart conditions that might not otherwise be detected but that can be monitored or treated when they are.