When EverlyWell officially launched our product a year ago, we moved from Dallas to Austin because I wanted to access the vibrant tech ecosystem and startup community.
What I didn’t realize then was that EverlyWell was lucky to be born at the nexus of accessible technology and healthcare – which I believe can be attributed to a handful of Austin-based entrepreneurs including Helix’s CEO, Robin Thurston (previously of Under Armour), and Insitome’s CEO and founder Spencer Wells.
I also credit the Dell Medical School, whose commitment to innovation has definitely helped bolster the tech and digital health ecosystem in Austin.
Our team is building products that have mass appeal leveraging Austin’s success in both technology and healthcare. What started as a major inconvenience when I was trying to get a few lab tests run turned into a brand and service that helps thousands of people every month simplify health testing — and gives you more control and access to all kinds of testing. It has been an exciting journey so far, but this is just the beginning.
In fact, just last week, EverlyWell announced the launch of three new products in collaboration with Helix, a personal genomics company that just launched the first online marketplace for DNA-based products. By sequencing consumers once using innovative Exome+ sequencing technology, Helix has really reduced the price of entry into genomics for startups like EverlyWell — and for consumers. Our particular products are focused on testing biomarkers and DNA information to provide consumers with an idea of where they came from, where they are and how to live their healthiest life in the future.
With companies like Insitome, which offers DNA-based storytelling to help discover and explain your genomic story, and EverlyWell already on the Helix marketplace — I think that the disaggregation of sequencing and interpretation will benefit Austin because it will enable other companies to enter genomics without having to build a sequencing lab.
Additionally, as healthcare continues to become more personalized, the walls between disciplines will continue to diminish such that digital health and genomics could merge. We can take the machine learning and analytics approaches that apply to data science broadly and use them in novel ways to make people’s health information more accessible.
I predict that the next stop in the Austin genomics revolution will focus on helping people in as comprehensive a way as possible by integrating all sorts of genetic data into information consumers can actually interpret and use — which I believe is what Austin’s tech ecosystem does best.
(Image via EverlyWell’s Vimeo)