Those behind Los Angeles-based telehealth provider Lifeforce, including CEO Dugal Bain-Kim and co-founders Tony Robbins, Dr. Peter Diamandis, and tennis star Serena Williams, want to optimize human longevity. To do so, they provide an integrated health augmenting platform where clients are given access to physicians and longevity experts via remote, video conferencing-based (telehealth) programs integrating their blood chemistry data with clinical expertise.
Along those lines, every three months, Lifeforce members receive in-home diagnostic blood tests that cover more than 40 aging-related blood markers pertaining to physical, cognitive, sexual, and psychological performance. Test results are then interpreted by physicians who create personalized programs, including lifestyle adjustments, supplementation regimens, and hormone and peptide therapies, tailored to each member’s specific biology and healthspan-related goals.
Traditional Medicine’s Non-Proactive Focus On Treating Sickness Incentivizes Longevity-Oriented Care
According to Lifeforce CEO Bain-Kim, an Australian-born technology and healthcare executive, traditional medicine has overemphasized the treatment of sickness, leaving out patients who want to take a more proactive approach to their health.
“If you’re a health-motivated person, who wants to stay on the front foot, making sure you are functioning at your best and keeping yourself on the right track, then primary care is not cutting it for you,” said Bain-Kim in a press release. “The incentives aren’t aligned – doctors don’t get paid for practicing effective longevity medicine.”
For Bain-Kim, his own personal experience of growing older motivated him to begin his telemedicine venture with Lifeforce. As such, it all started for him when he hit a health roadblock at age 38.
“After six or 12 months of poor health habits following the birth of my daughter, I decided it was time to get back on track, and I was quite cocky about my ability to do that, having always been a health motivated person and athlete,” he recalled. “But when I tried to do it through the same things I’ve always done before – tightening up my diet, working out a little bit harder – my body just didn’t respond like it had in the past. I was 38, not 28, and my physiology had changed.”
Not knowing where to find healthspan-related expertise and knowledge for making health-conscious decisions, Bain-Kim went forth as a consumer to find answers.
“It was a terrible experience – incredibly fragmented, expensive, ineffective – bouncing around between at-home finger prick and saliva tests, all from different labs and only showing one piece of the puzzle,” he says. “Or conversations with my primary care doctor – seven-minute visits with zero interest in longevity or proactive health optimization. I even looked at these concierge clinics wanting to charge me $50,000 a year to take care of me. But I ended up back in the same spot that most people are in – with a bunch of supplements in my cupboard and no idea what’s working or what I need to be taking.”
Bain-Kim’s unsatisfactory experience as a consumer was the “kick in the pants” he needed as an entrepreneur to start up his longevity-focused company, Lifeforce.
“I realized there was a massive opportunity to build a comprehensive platform that makes health and longevity optimization easy, effective and convenient via the telehealth and at-home model,” he said.
This realization led Bain-Kim and colleagues including AI expert Joel Jackson along with Tony Robbins and Dr. Diamandis to begin their venture with Lifeforce.
“It was a group of folks all coming together – different life stages, different personal experiences – but all really excited about this idea that if you could optimize health and longevity for a mainstream consumer, you can have a massive impact on human potential,” he said.
A Holistic Perspective to Longevity
Lifeforce’s scientific advisory board includes health leaders and physicians like the Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Mark Hyman who believe longevity must be treated holistically. With this holistic approach, clinicians can advise patients based on their overall wellbeing, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just bodily symptoms.
“There are three main pillars to our care delivery model,” said Bain-Kim. “The first is maintaining the functional systems that will drive quality of life. These are things like energy, libido, mental clarity, body composition – all the things that dictate your quality of life.”
The second pillar from the Lifeforce model revolves around reducing the risk of five diseases most likely to kill you prematurely, namely heart attack and stroke, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and dementia.
“One of the best ways to live a long time is to not die early,” said Bain-Kim. “If we can bring the risk of those five diseases down then that is a massive service on the longevity front and a very practical and applied one.”
The last Lifeforce model pillar is managing the rate of people’s cellular aging. This area is exciting, but Bain-Kim admits it has the “thinnest amount of validation” of the three pillars.
“We aim to be the arbiter for our members around when something is validated and science-backed so that it’s ready for us to bring into the platform and give people access to it,” he said. “When we do – you’ll know that we’ve done the due diligence on it.”
Cost to Join Lifeforce
After an upfront payment of $349 for an initial consultation and baseline measurements, Lifeforce costs $129 per month, covering access to telehealth visits with clinicians and health coaches along with quarterly testing.
“You get unlimited one-on-one health coaching to really help you with the program and stay on track, particularly on the lifestyle side,” said Bain-Kim. “Every three months, we send a phlebotomist back to your house, do another blood draw, look at the results, and tweak your program. By nine or 12 months, we’ve got a good sense of how your body responds to different things, and people are usually getting into that ‘green zone’ of where they want to be.”
Having launched only as recently as early 2022, Bain-Kim says Lifeforce is one of the largest, if not the largest, longevity platforms in the United States. The Lifeforce longevity platform seems like it’s working with 85% of members surveyed seeing life quality improvements within the first three months of signing up.
“What’s also important for us is the data that we’re collecting along the way,” he says. “We’re doing this cadence every three months, where we’ve got the biomarkers, combined with the interventions, and then patient reported outcomes for how people are feeling. We’ve run close to 20,000 diagnostics so far, and building up this longevity database is key to our future strategy and building even better programs.”
Validating Lifeforce’s Techniques
Although Bain-Kim Lifeforce may be the largest longevity platform to date, a brief search for similar outfits gave sparse results other than InsideTracker, a platform similar to Lifeforce without the clinical consultations. In other words, Lifeforce and partners can be seen more as pioneers in longevity-based platforms alongside others like InsideTracker.
Questions remain as to what blood markers for aging Lifeforce uses and how reliable they are. Moreover, the methods that clinicians with expertise in longevity use to counter aging aren’t defined on Lifeforce’s website, so it’s virtually impossible to compare their program with others.