Going to the doctor when you’re already sick is like going to your mechanic after your engine has seized because you never changed the oil. A little preventive maintenance and it would never have gotten that far.
A brand new service called InsideTracker aims to change that. They’re doing it by providing you with your own human “dashboard” that, just like the one in your car, can tell you when you’re low on something essential, like vitamin E or iron, or when you’re running heavy on something else, such as sodium or magnesium.
The idea is that InsideTracker gives you the ability to make sure your body is optimized to take on whatever you face each day, and operate at peak performance by understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your own individual body chemistry.
“We all want to be able to enjoy life,” says Dr. Gil Blander, President and Chief Science Officer of Segterra, the company that developed InsideTracker. “When we can find issues and fix them when they are small, before they turn into something big and serious, we can live better, potentially live longer and enjoy our lives more.”
The science-based service is designed to be as easy as possible, and as affordable as possible — since Dr. Blander tells me most doctors deal in “sick care,” not “health care” it automates everything online to keep doctors out of it unless absolutely necessary.
“Our longterm idea was to reduce the costs of healthcare and to provide enhanced service,” he told me. “So we decided to start with the healthy population and the health conscious who are looking for peak performance.”
InsideTracker starts with an online questionnaire that asks for your specific goals and overall health and health issues. Depending on your needs and the level of information you want, you choose from Fitness ($169), Fitness Plus ($249) or Performance ($349). Then you get a simple blood test done at one of the 1,500 nationwide labs they’ve partnered with. (This is included in the fee.)
Your blood analysis is returned in an easy to understand series of grids and charts online that become your personalized health and wellness plan. Your “human dashboard.” If you are low in any critical areas, InsideTracker will make recommendations for both supplements and diet changes. And since they don’t sell their own supplements or foods, you are free to shop around, and use brands you are comfortable with, or that may be in your budget.
“Our philosophy is not to recommend specific brands or make money selling supplements,” says Dr. Blander. “We only tell you what you need to do to be at your peak. We stay as unbiased as possible. We are scientists first.”
There are customer support managers available as well (and, Dr. Blander tells me, a network of certified trainers and nutritionists is on the way soon), should you need more advice, have questions, or need help understanding your results. Or just want a more human touch.
Does it work? I haven’t used InsideTracker, but I have done something very similar with my personal doctor. I had a complete blood analysis done in all the areas covered by InsideTracker’s Performance level, and I found I was deficient in a few key areas. In one case, severely. I’ve been supplementing for months since, have changed my diet, and the results are incredible. I have increased energy, better focus at work, and my workouts are by far more productive.
Just like if you were to fix your car, the first step would be to diagnose the problem. InsideTracker provides that critical look “under the hood” to understand what your body may be lacking and needing to perform at its best. You take car to change the oil in your car regularly… it may be time to take a look at your body’s recommended maintenance.
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[Dashboard image in opening image by Azmie Kasmy (Own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons