40% of disease deaths annually in the US & Canada are preventable. That’s 22.67 million people! When you think about it, it make sense to approach disease by preventing instead of curing, yet, less than 10 companies are working on this and none of them are leveraging the exponential technology we have. If we look at the preventative healthcare landscape; the problem isn’t that we can’t predict disease, it’s that nobody is leveraging exponential technology to predict a high amount of diseases accurately. Specifically, no one is taking in the trifecta of biomarker data from you: metabolomic, proteomic and genetic data, to predict the diseases you’ll develop. So we decided to build it. We frst aggregate data from our network of multi-national labs and send you kits in which you can non-invasively provide your biomarker data by spitting in a tube, urinating in a bottle, and putting a swab to your inner cheek . You’ll send this information back to the addresses at the back of the kits which will allow our labs to provide us with your raw biomarker data. From here, using past data from mass studies our algorithm then searches for specific genetic, metabolomic, and/or proteomic sequences that correlate with those of people that developed those diseases. We flag these sequences and the disease they associate with and then compile this in a report for you to talk to your doctor about.
What inspired you (or your team)?
One of those 22 million people could have been my mom. 2 years ago in December my mom fell ill with pneumonia to a point of near-death. Why? Because the doctors were unable to diagnose her early and didn’t give her the right medication for 2 weeks. This initially drove me to start working in personalized medicine, conduct a simulated experiment in the space, and deeply understand how this technology that could solve her problem. But in the summer, on days when I wasn’t working, I was shopping, and since shopping’s boring, I decided to talk to my Mom instead. One of the things I asked her during our shopping trips/philosophical expeditions while walking in a place full of teenagers, was what she wished was different about the process while she was sick? Her response:
“I wish I knew I was going to have this disease earlier so that I could either:
a.) Work with some smart healthcare person like a doctor to eliminate it before it occurs. Or…
b.) If worse comes to worst at least have the chance to mentally prepare myself for what could’ve lied ahead.”
As soon as I heard that something didn’t sit right with me. I started thinking more and realized that it wasn’t just her, but literally everyone who’s been through the experience of almost dying due to disease wishes that they could’ve predicted and eliminated the disease before it occurred. Which is why three young teens who had similar experiences with the healthcare system started Genis – a startup aimed at revolutionizing healthcare with preventive medicine.