Welcome To The Future Of Healthcare - Predicting & Preventing Diseases
Updated: Aug 10, 2020
Ancora is the first comprehensive predictive prevention health platform. To me, that sounds almost a bit like Science Fiction and reminds me of the movie Minority Report where crimes are prevented before they happen. Is that what you do? Fighting diseases before your customers actually get sick?
Sridhar: You are correct, we want to bring the future of healthcare to life by combining markers of your current health with markers of your possible future health risks to help you navigate your health journey every step of the way. We do so by providing insights into where you stand on the spectrum of health for a range of conditions spanning across health, wellbeing and performance. To make it all actionable, we prioritize the most impactful set of lifestyle choices, tailored to your specific needs and goals, from a scientifically verified database.
How exactly does it work? Walk us through the process, please.
Rahul: Every customer starts by completing an online self-assessment questionnaire covering aspects such as their medical history, lifestyle, nutrition, goals, wellbeing and how they cope with stress. Next they go through a Personal Onboarding at one of our Health Studios, which takes 1-2 hours depending on the membership they choose. During the session we collect blood and urine samples, carry out a physical assessment, measure body composition and do a cardio-pulmonary test. The data is uploaded into our secure digital platform where it is processed. Blood and urine get sent to our ISO-certified lab partners, who take the first step in analyzing the biomarkers and DNA. Then, we run the data through our CE certified Analytic Engine to generate scientific insights and personalized actions.
Jose: Customers can view detailed results in their Personal Health Passport. It’s private – accessible via secure, encrypted log-in whenever they want to view it. And whenever they get measured again with Ancora, we’ll update the Passport giving an insight into how the changes you made affect your body and mind. Every Ancora membership offers a conversation with one of our health experts, to help plan next steps. We are here by their side, every step of the way by providing support through lifestyle coaches and digital nudging.
Rahul: So, now it’s over to the customer to start executing their personal action plans. Next steps will revolve around precise adjustments to nutrition and lifestyle, tailored to their needs and goals. Health is a journey, not a destination – no matter where you are, we will guide you to make a lasting and positive impact.
So, what is the difference between a doctor’s appointment and an appointment at an Ancora Health facility?
Sridhar: More often than not, a traditional doctor’s appointment is made when people have some symptoms that they associate with an illness, so in essence it is a reactive process. At Ancora, we help people that take a proactive approach to their health and address potential risks before they manifest. It marks a move away from healthcare to health, and a primary emphasis on Lifestyle as Medicine.
Do you have doctors in house and does an appointment with you make a check-up at the doctor obsolete?
Rahul: Yes we do have doctors in house. And all our tests are conducted under the guidance of medical experts. When the issues we identify do not cross clinical thresholds, a follow-up with a specialist is unnecessary. However, in situations where we identify issues with our customers, we refer them immediately to either their own doctor or to a specialist.
I have seen your facility. It didn’t have this cold and sterile hospital feel – more like SPA meets Executive Suite. Why is that?
Jose: Health and Wellbeing are things that people should cherish. And we believe that the process of attaining them should be an engaging, friendly and involved experience. In fact, our doctors and health experts are friendly professionals who influence your lifestyle choices, as opposed to their authority. Our Health Studios are completely designed around delivering outstanding customer experience, by using the most advanced technology and digital interfaces.
Tell us a bit about the people behind Ancora Health and the story of your venture.
Sridhar: We are an interdisciplinary team comprised of passionate innovators in medicine, genetics, bioinformatics, software engineering and user experience, all united in answering that calling. We believe in people proactively managing their health and wellbeing by making informed lifestyle choices. We also recognize the need to equip health experts with deeply personalized insights that will enable them to effectively guide people towards reaching their goals. As a founding team, we constantly ask ourselves how we can combine the power of the most advanced health science, data and technology to enable people to take the right steps on their health journey.
It is this belief that led us to establish Ancora, and we are fortunate that we have been funded by a group of Angel Investors, who share our passion for this topic.
You opened your first clinic in the Netherlands. Will it be the only one?
Rahul: We have actually opened 2 studios in the Netherlands – in Amsterdam and Eindhoven. Once the operational model is established, it is our intention to many more of these studios in The Netherlands and beyond.
Which region in the world is most in need of Ancora Health’s predictive prevention platform. And why?
Jose: Helping people in a timely manner so as not to let them drift into a chronic condition and achieving this through primarily influencing their lifestyle choices is relevant globally. The current over reliance on the biomedical model of healthcare is unsustainable and has to change. The future of health will be data-driven with an emphasis on facilitating health behaviour change.
What is the outlook for the next 5 years?
Sridhar: Our immediate focus over the next 12 months is to crack the code on a scalable operating model here in the Netherlands. Following this, we are planning to expand into other markets with a clear focus on Germany, Nordics, UK, the Middle-East, and India. In parallel, we also intend to broaden the platform to address opportunities such as Type2 Diabetes remission, which will put us on a sound footing to collaborate with insurance and health institutions globally.
No one says no to a strategic partner to drive growth and expansion. Who are you looking for to team up with?
Sridhar: We are looking for investors who share our passion for preventative healthcare, and lifestyle medicine as a means to improve societal health. They should ideally enable us in business model innovation through establishing partnerships with corporate houses, insurance companies and healthcare institutions. Next to that they could also support us in product innovation (through expertise/connections in either health science or technology, and geographical expansion.
Gentlemen, thank you so much for those very interesting insights.
Grammig Advisory is hosting an Investors Meetup for Ancora Health on 08 September 2020 at 2pm Central European Time. For an in-depth presentation of Ancora Health, a walk through the clinic and a Q&A with Sridhar, Rahul and Jose please register here:
Sridhar Kumaraswamy - Founder and CEO
Sridhar founded Ancora with the belief that the quality of our lives are mediated by the simple food and lifestyle choices we make, and that the path towards a healthier society is through influencing those choices in a personally meaningful way. He is committed to encouraging people to work on their health and wellbeing every day of their lives. And he is convinced that progress in biological science and behavioral technologies will allow them to do so effortlessly. Sridhar is a seasoned innovation leader who has successfully launched and grown multiple consumer businesses over the past two decades at Philips.
Rahul Gannamani - Founder and Head of Product
A health evangelist and doctor in training, Rahul is passionate about a healthcare paradigm in which people are empowered to make targeted and meaningful choices for their long-term health and wellbeing. Rahul brings a deep understanding of a data-driven approach to health and is responsible for our product and its integration within people’s health journeys. After gaining his bachelor’s degree in Medicine at the University of Groningen, Rahul went on win a place in the university’s PhD program, where he specializes in using big data to improve diagnosis of movement disorders.
Jose Castela Forte - Founder and Head of Health Science
José has long been passionate about pushing the boundaries of science to bring game-changing innovation to healthcare. At Ancora, he leads the research on predictive prevention that underpins our groundbreaking methodology. With a bachelor’s degree in Medicine (with honors in Philosophy) from the University of Groningen, José owns a unique combination of analytical and biological knowledge. He is currently combining his clinical training with a PhD program where he specializes in applying machine learning to predict and improve patient outcomes in the fields of intensive care, anesthesia, and cardiothoracic surgery.