LifeQ is the leading provider of biometrics and health information derived from wearable devices, helping people live healthier lives. By providing a 24/7 lens into the body, LifeQ’s solutions go beyond an everyday smartwatch, generating business-grade biometrics for consumers, athletes, and the acutely and chronically ill—detecting health problems and preventing illness.
From cardiovascular disease and COVID to respiratory disorders and sleep apnea, LifeQ enables early detection and treatment of the world’s most debilitating diseases. Consumers, wearable device companies, insurers and reinsurers, health-tech companies, clinicians, researchers, and analytics companies all benefit from LifeQ’s powerful disease detection and prevention capabilities—representing the future of healthcare.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
I met my two co-founders Dr. Franco du Preez and Dr. Riaan Conradie in 2009 at a biotech business plan competition in South Africa where I served as a judge representing Emory University. Franco and Riaan are both Ph.D. computational systems biologists (“CSB”). The product that they presented at the business plan competition is different than what LifeQ is pursuing today. What intrigued me was their ability to apply CSB to develop mathematical equations to describe the different functions, systems and organs of the human body, and in particular how all these systems interrelate. Through this systems approach, I saw the potential for applying non-invasive sensors and to calculate outputs that otherwise have to be measured invasively through for example blood tests or expensive medical scans.
Being in venture capital since the mid-1980s, I’ve seen the powerful impact of silicon and digital solutions, revolutionizing almost every product, industry, sector, or service on earth. I have witnessed the massive transformative impact of different technology waves—from PC and the rise of the Internet to Mobility, Cloud Computing and Big Data—and saw the digital revolution could be taken one step further by digitally connecting the human into these solutions.
Ultimately everything on earth revolves around humans, either as a producer or recipient. From a health and wellness perspective, it became clear this technology would have the potential to create a “physiological dashboard” that could provide users with the required health information and insights to make smarter decisions while still healthy, delaying aging and preventing illness. However, beyond personal health monitoring, I sensed that this technology should have the potential to cover a broad spectrum of business and clinical applications, including clinical diagnostics, treatment and monitoring.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
LifeQ has grown steadily since its founding in 2014, and while the pandemic was devastating for so many people and businesses, it also pointed to the need for greater health insights at scale. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020, LifeQ accelerated its focus on clinical solutions. This included a COVID-19 early warning system as its acute disease onset detection offering. It will soon release proof of concept deployments of its hospital and various other clinical dashboards and solutions.
Ever since LifeQ expanded its wearable enablement capabilities and became a subcontractor to some of the largest tech companies globally. It also started to evolve the business and clinical applications that would depend on the higher fidelity outputs of LifeQ enabled devices. The first market deployments of business solutions started at the end of 2019 when it released a joint insurance offering with Samsung, Hannover Re, and 1Life. This year, LifeQ secured over $47 million in funding as well to grow our team and expand our offerings.
What can we hope to see from LifeQ in the future?
Our vision is to enable everyone to delay aging and become biologically younger. LifeQ will continue to lead the market as the de facto standard of health information derived from wearables and larger body area networks, for consumer, business and clinical use, incorporated in or adding value to all leading wearable and body network brands. In particular, we need to double down to give consumers a 360-degree understanding of their health, and the ability to live longer and healthier.
Every metric or insight that we will produce will provide a view on the health state of their system or feature being measured, as well as the change in the past 24 hours, with very specific action items on how to enhance life expectancy and generate more quality days in everyone’s lives. Significant advances have been made in studying the impact of epigenetic changes on the physical structure of DNA. Aging causes DNA damage with proteins ending up in the wrong places on the genome and the wrong genes being turned on. Stressors on the body like fasting, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle can help the proteins to go back and reverse the process.
With our technology, we can quantify the impact of specific actions and calculate how many days you are adding back on your biological clock. Our anomaly detector will cover a very wide range of acute and chronic disease situations. Our real-time information will enable advanced clinical applications and very specialized remote patient monitoring.
LifeQ follows a Computational Systems Biology led approach in the design of our solutions. This allows us to incorporate knowledge on how different biometrics relate to one another at a causative level in health and disease, and also makes it possible to involve domain experts right from the beginning when building models and designing solutions that would also incorporate machine learning. We look forward to changing the healthcare landscape for the better and empowering people with the tools needed for a healthier life.