BaseHealth Launches Genome API To Bring Precision Medicine To Digital Health Startups


Redwood City, California-based digital health startup BaseHealth unveils its new Genome API, a developer tool that will provide digital health startups with a simple method of offering genome-based health assessments into existing health and wellness solutions. The platform is free so long as developers make less than 1,000 calls to the API per month, after which the company charges a flat-fee of $0.10 per call, with tiered price concessions for high-volume users.

BaseHealth launched in 2011 with the goal of building a platform that doctors could use to create customized care plans based on a patient’s genetic data, as well as their medical history, lifestyle, and environmental factors. This information is entered into the company’s flagship product, GenoPhen, where it is used to perform a risk analysis for the patient. The resulting report presents care providers with a risk assessment that quantifies the patient’s probability of developing certain diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and a variety of cancers. Next, the platform generates preventative health recommendations in the form of a personalized care plan, addressing the patient’s unique risks. The analytics engine powering the platform contains logic derived from 20,000 peer-reviewed research papers, as well as risk factors for 40 common diseases, 17 drug responses, and nine food responses.

Now, the company has introduced an API that will offer the same functionality to digital health companies. The API offers a variety of services that can be integrated directly into existing platforms. The first service allows users to enter genetic, diet, lifestyle, and environmental information and then returns a risk profile including odds of developing key diseases by the age of 65, and the odds of developing the disease if certain recommended preventative measures are adhered to. Next, a drug response API call shows users whether they have any gene mutations that could affect the way their bodies react to certain medications. Similarly, a food response API call highlights predispositions to certain deficiencies based on the patient’s genetic variations. The platform also offers curated content about the diseases being analyzed, and actions that can be taken to reduce risks.

While marketing these kinds of results directly to consumers would still likely draw the attention of the FDA, as it did with 23andMe, BaseHealth is only marketing its platform to providers, payers, and digital health startups, carefully avoiding any direct engagement with consumers. Still, it will be interesting to see how the FDA responds as digital health startups use the API and integrate these services into platforms designed for direct-patient consumption.

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