In today’s world of urbanization, lifestyle disorders are the direct output of our diet, our habits and the way we live. At an age when productivity levels at work are meant to be exceptionally high, lifestyle diseases, if ignored, can be detrimental to an individual. While India is well on its way to become the heart-disease capital of the world, we need to re-think, rejuvenate and rebuild the way we live.
With a goal to enable individuals control their own health through their DNA, LifeLong Wellness, a unique wellness program from XCODE, is the first of its kind in India to use genetic assessment as a basis to create a personalized healthcare plan for an individual’s betterment.
XCODE, based out of Chennai, innovates in the field of preventive healthcare through research in life sciences and the use of cutting edge biotechnology.
Genetic Engineering and its Importance
Saleem Mohammed, a PhD in bioinformatics, and the CEO of XCODE says, “We are at least 15-20 years away from engineering genes for the improvement of human lives. As we advance into this field, it is essential that we understand the functions of genes, their interaction with each other and external environment. “
“Will it be a breakthrough in healthcare? It certainly will because that would mean illnesses caused due to genetic errors can be rectified by the introduction of foreign DNA.”
Although there is minimal research in India as far as genetic engineering is concerned, XCODE looks at wellness and health care in a pretty holistic manner. They start from the smallest building block of an individual, their DNA, and then assess the health risk as well as their metabolic rate of fats and carbohydrates.
“Our USP is that the self and their environment acts in relation with each other to establish the balance of one’s health and so we strive to achieve good health from these different directions,” adds Saleem.
Having been incubated at VIT University in Vellore, Saleem feels that while several start ups undervalue the role of incubation in their life cycle, the lessons he learnt were very valuable. “It provides a strong database of contacts for networking. It was through the incubator’s support that we were up and running in pretty much one day (in terms of operations).”
XCODE’s team currently consists of people from different backgrounds like marketing, operations, science, health and technology. “We are a team of 10 people and growing,” informs Saleem.
Products on Offer
XCODE offers a program titled Lifelong Wellness that starts with a genetic assessment and gives a predisposition of an individual to lifestyle disorders like Diabetes, Obesity, CVDs and Stroke. “Based on an individual’s health risk, metabolic profile and physical parameters, we design a nutritional plan that consists of foods that one should eat and foods that one should avoid.”
“We have also designed a fitness plan that people can do from their homes itself. In terms of pricing, predisposition of individual diseases are priced at Rs.7999/- We also offer a value pack for Rs. 9999/- which would contain predisposition of all four disorders,” Saleem says.
Spreading the word
Marketing is done majorly through online channels and various forms of social media. Pricing the product and making it operationally tight were some of the obstacles that the company has come up against.
“The plan for the future, besides discovering genetic causes of chronic illnesses, would be to pioneer in the field of personalized nutrition and medicine,” adds Saleem.
Given the immense potential in the healthcare sector, particularly in the startup ecosystem, and on the back of what could potentially be a game-changing idea, we really do hope and expect XCODE makes it big and improve India’s overall healthcare scenario. Have a look at XCODE’s site here, and find details about their program Lifelong Wellness here.