Digbi Health enhances mental health and chronic care by adding Ethnic-relevant genetic markers

Alicia Nakamoto

January 18, 2022

Digbi Health incorporates ethnic-relevant genetic risk scores to personalize care for metabolic and mental health conditions associated with gut and obesity.

The new panel will improve health equity and outcomes for ethnically diverse workforces.

Digbi Health announced today they are incorporating ethnic-specific risk scores for nutrition, fitness, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, mental and digestive health across its virtual care program for people living with polychronic physical and mental illness associated with inflammatory gut and weight.

It’s well established that the risk of illness, food allergies, gut microbiome composition and pharmaceutical risk varies significantly by ethnicity and gender because they are rooted in an individual's genetics and gut microbiome. For example, A) African Americans have a higher genetic risk for hypertension and lung cancer despite lower smoking rates, B) black women are more likely to get breast cancer, C) Hispanic adults have higher risks of diabetes. D) Asian Indian men have four times higher risk of cardiovascular disease even if with a normal BMI, non-smoking and vegetarian E) white European males have a higher risk of Atrial Fibrillation, F) Jews of European descent have one of the highest risks of developing colon cancer compared to any ethnicity worldwide and, G) white women have a higher risk of a digestive and inflammatory disease like arthritis.

Genetic testing has become increasingly widespread, with millions of Americans conducting genetic tests at home. Employers and health plans are embracing digital care programs for their employees. Current genetic tests and digital care programs fail to account for gender and ethnic diversity despite the popularity.

Specifically, 78% of genetic studies come from people of predominantly European descent, and most digital care guidelines are primarily based on studies done with the white male population, even though they only make up 16% of the population, resulting in significant inequity in care outcomes for women and people of color.

Digbi’s new genetic scores address these health outcome inequities by personalizing care using the member’s ethnic ancestry, measured by their DNA sequence, gut microbiome, food habits, and food preference. In a recently published study of 393 adults, Digbi’s polychronic care program proved to be equally effective across ethnicities and income levels.

“It’s extremely problematic for the health of an increasingly diverse workforce to limit genetic, gut microbiome data to one population and one-size-fits-all digital care programs that have a proven bias towards one gender and ethnicity. Digbi’s science and care team is committed to eliminating health outcome disparities while advancing our understanding of genetic and gut microbiome science,” said Ranjan Sinha, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Digbi Health.

About Digbi Health

Digbi Health provides convenient, virtual care to people living with polychronic physical and mental illness associated with inflammatory gut and weight. Digbi uses AI to harness genetic, gut microbiome, clinical, food information, and behavioral signals, to deliver tailored whole-person care, which includes food as medicine, behavioral coaching support, remote monitoring, and MD connected care coordination to equitably target the root cause of illness. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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