You’ve always been able to get information about your ancestry and health from DNA service 23andMe. But you can take that a step further now that 23andMe offers personalized wellness coaching under a new partnership with Lark Health, the company announced in a news release. The new collaboration will allow 23andMe Health + Ancestry customers to access personalized artificial intelligence (AI) coaching through the Lark app to improve their general wellness and help lower their risk for chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes using their unique genetic information.
Lark is a mobile app that uses AI to help people manage chronic health conditions, including hypertension and diabetes, or simply get everyday wellness coaching. According to the news release, under this new partnership with 23andMe, you can integrate your 23andMe genetic health report into the Lark app for an even more personalized wellness experience. By combining the Lark app’s health tracking data with your 23andMe report, the company says, you’ll get more personalized recommendations for your sleep habits, reminders at key times to eat foods that fuel your specific nutritional needs, and encouragement catered to your unique activity goals.
"Access to your genetic information is really just the beginning — using that information to prevent serious health consequences is the next critical step," Anne Wojcicki, chief executive officer and co-founder of 23andMe, said in a statement. "Our collaboration with Lark enables 23andMe customers to use their genetic information in a clinically validated program to help them make lifestyle changes to improve their health."
The Wellness Program is $14.99 a month, and the Diabetes Prevention Program is $19.99 a month, but you can contact Lark’s customer support team to find out if your insurance covers the cost of the program you want to use. Both programs integrate select 23andMe report results into the Lark app to provide you with an even more personalized experience; those reports include genetic weight, saturated fat and weight, deep sleep, sleep movement, bitter taste, sweet versus salty, lactose intolerance, and caffeine consumption. To use the new service, just download the Lark app, connect your 23and Me Health + Ancestry Service account, and then pick which program you want to use.
The Lark app works a lot like chatbot in which the AI answers your questions, sends you resources, and helps you log new health records. For those using the Diabetes Program, the health coach can even text you reminders to refill your strips or help you fulfill your strip orders. If you choose the Wellness Program, you can talk to your health coach about nutrition, sleep, stress management, behavioral health, and how to stay active. Both programs learn more about you over time and respond to you 24/7.
With Planned Parenthood coming out with Chatbot Roo in January to answer questions about sexual health, it seems like artificial intelligence is really paving the way for how consumers are accessing information these days. AI certainly provides an anonymous and all-hours accessible way to access information on all sorts of topics.
Planned Parenthood's new AI-based chatbot is free, but you might be able to see some savings on the 23andMe partnership with Lark if you have health insurance. Either way, maybe this is just the start to more AI offerings to come.
Correction: This post was updated on Feb. 28 to more accurately describe Planned Parenthood's chatbot, Roo.