Victoria Frankel

The Cost in Healthcare No One is Talking About (Hint: It’s You)

Jan 19, 2020

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It can be very difficult for some people to imagine how their diet might impact their health 10, 20, or even 30 years from now. Despite the clear evidence depicted in studies associating our food choices with our health, it can take many years to truly notice profound changes. You may notice stints of symptoms, but they can often gradually appear. And as we age, it’s not all that uncommon for us to chalk it up to getting older, or accruing years under our growing belts.

The ugly truth about poor health is that it doesn’t just wreak havoc on our bodies - it can also put a significant amount of stress on our finances. The costs associated with poor health can range from an increase in doctor’s visits to expensive prescription drugs, and can even result in extended hospital stays from chronic conditions. 

At the end of 2019, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University joined forces with the Brigham and Women’s hospital to examine the economic impact of poor diet and disease. This study analyzed the impact of 10 dietary factors including fruit and vegetable intake, processed meats, and more. 

These diet trends added to nearly $50 billion spent on healthcare nationally, which accounts for 18% of all heart disease, stroke, and type 3 diabetes costs within the U.S. alone. The economic burden of poor diet affects all, forcing many hardworking families into financial holes that seem to grow deeper with each passing year. All the while, their health continues to decline. 

Furthermore, poor nutritional status is greatly associated with chronic disease, which is a leading cause of disability. It seems like a vicious cycle of families struggling with the financial burdens of treating the chronic conditions until their health prevents them from being able to work and fund proper treatment.

The total sum of healthcare costs associated with chronic conditions totals over 1.1 trillion dollars each year - all from conditions that have their roots in improper nutrition.

 

What Can We Do? Is This Our Nation’s Fate?

It may seem like a hopeless situation for many. But there is hope.

You have the power to make a difference in your health and take a stand against chronic disease. And you don’t need to take this journey alone. With each day, Viome is taking bold strides towards our goal of making illness optional. At our roots, Viome is a health and wellness platform built to empower the individual - you - in getting the personalized dietary recommendations unique to your needs.

This doesn’t just mean a little less bloating to make you feel as good in the evening as you do when you first wake up.

This doesn’t just mean meeting your recommended micro- and macronutrients to help you feel energized all day long.

This doesn’t just mean helping you lose a few pounds before your next vacation.

And this certainly doesn’t just mean revamping the balance and diversity of your gut flora today and tomorrow.

It means making small changes with big repercussions that give you an advantage throughout life. Do not underestimate the small steps you can take each day, with each test. Just like the delicate beatings of a butterfly’s wings can make great waves across the ocean – the small changes you take to promote a healthy digestive system and a revitalized gut microbiome can take you to the next of your health. 

 

And What Does That Mean?

Without you, our goals to defy the odds and defeat chronic diseases would never be possible. Each day we’re getting closer and we advance as a company because of the people who have joined us on this mission. And with each passing day our family grows, and so does our knowledge of what’s possible in human health. 

We are only now beginning to unravel the complex connection of the gut microbiome on disease. And already, we see that scientists are linking the state of a person’s gut to a multitude of diseases. These studies show us just how essential nutrition is to our health, and as we continue to confront the repercussions of how poor diet can impact our quality of life – the evidence begins to feel rather overwhelming. But you have a choice.

Viome is the only company in the world to offer CLIA-certified stool RNA metatranscriptomic sequencing technology. Our Gut Intelligence Test measures both microbial activity and biochemical functions, enabling us to identify and quantify your living organisms and see what they are producing. With this information, we’re able to provide you with food and supplement recommendations aimed at lowering inflammation in your gut. Keeping inflammation in check is important as chronic inflammation over time leads to chronic diseases. 

It took 15 years to sequence the human genome. We are now sequencing AND analyzing your gut microbiome using artificial intelligence  – which includes identifying trillions of active microbes, and their pathways, and functions –  in just a few weeks! Technology is accelerating at lightning speed. On top of that, our technology is coming down dramatically in cost. Even three years ago, a Viome test cost $5,000 per test. Now, it’s only $149 per test. After that, you’re part of the Viome community and each subsequent test is only $119 (or lower). And we will continue to bring this cost down until we achieve our goal.

Take the first few steps, and it’s okay to stumble. It’s okay to fail. But pick yourself up and keep trekking, keep hiking uphill until your strength grows and the trials and tribulations of yesterday seem like small indentations in the dirt behind you. We’re right there with you, here to guide you on your way and make sure you have access to the tools you need to keep your health in YOUR hands.  


*The information on the Viome website is provided for informational purposes only and with the understanding that Viome is not engaged in rendering medical advice or recommendations. Viome is providing this educational information to share the exciting developments being reported in the scientific literature about the human microbiome and your health. Viome products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.

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The Cost in Healthcare No One is Talking About (Hint: It’s You)

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