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Kenneth Lou, CEO of Mito Health

Startup pushes preventive healthcare through digitalised longevity solutions

Mito Health CEO Kenneth Lou believes their personalised platform can address potential future health concerns and extend lifespan.

As life expectancies decline just as digitalisation rapidly advances, there emerges a health tech startup dedicated to bridging these two realities for one to solve the other.

After observing a healthcare industry that is very focused on addressing illnesses such as cough, cold, flu, and managing diseases, Mito Health co-Founder and CEO Kenneth Lou realised the importance of “upstreaming preventive healthcare” to nip health issues in the bud “before it’s too late.”

“What we are is [a] longevity clinic that is purely digital, and virtual. So we help people understand where the areas are that they can improve to stay healthy for longer,” Lou told the Singapore Business Review as he introduced his health tech startup.

“The biggest pain point we’re solving for is really helping the whole healthcare industry move away from sick care. This new wave of longevity and healthspan is sort of the wave that we’re riding on,” Lou continued.

Drawing its name from “mitochondria,” known as the powerhouse of the cell, Mito Health embodies this concept by providing a platform aimed at enhancing overall healthspan and longevity.

Interestingly, the idea of a digital longevity clinic was stirred from Lou’s personal background. “My dad passed away from cancer at a relatively young age. He died when he was 54. So, I saw what the future looked like if I didn’t take care of myself, and if I didn’t screen myself yearly,” he said.

With Mito Health’s platform, people are encouraged “to take a very proactive approach to health, and not just wait for things to happen or treat themselves when it is already too late,” Lou said.

Unifying longevity and digitalisation

“Mito Health focuses on helping our clients order their blood tests [and] run the insights holistically together with other aspects of their life, like family. We will look at their sleep, look at exercise, nutrition, diet, and then give them recommendations on where they can do better. So there’s what we define as customised health plans,” Lou explained.

Competing with traditional health screening companies, Mito Health offers clients a “10, 20, or 30 year risk horizon” where they would assess a client’s lifestyle and habits and its possible health implications in 10, 20, or 30 years.

“If you start changing some of these habits today, it will affect some of these changes, these risk parameters down the road. So again, it's very much like proactive health more than just regular screening,” he said.

As a fully digital platform, Mito Health provides its clients a “virtual health dashboard” that showcases their health data such as vital signs, risk factors found in their blood, and various biomarkers.

“We also look at different lifestyle factors [such as] alcohol, smoking, [and] other areas of concern that the doctor has highlighted for us. What are the key recommendations to look at like supplements? What nutrition is best for you [and] what exercise is best for you? Importantly, we link up to relevant research papers, if you are into research,” Lou said.

Serving as a health coach within arm’s reach, Mito Health reminds its clients of frequently overlooked aspects of health management.

“We actually do design personalised nutrition strategies [and] personalised supplements for every client. And it’s truly personalised, so every client with a different family history, different gender, different age range would have personalised, different strategies on what supplements they should be taking and what they should not be taking,” Lou said.

Mito Health offers a $499 flagship panel testing 67 biomarkers in the blood. “The flagship panel is extremely comprehensive [and] is comparable to executive screening services which can go into thousands of dollars. But I think the main differentiator [is that we are] virtual, [so we are able] to transfer those cost savings to our end clients,” he said.

Whilst it may seem as a one-size-fits-all package, Lou explained that “within this flagship product, there are options for personalised plans. So it’s like a full package,” he said. “And then you can choose to add on scans that view allergy panels [or] hormone panels.”

Industry-backed move

“We [raised] US$1.5m, so it’s actually $2m [Singaporean dollars]. We raised largely from institutional [investors] so Forge Ventures was an early investor. They filled up half the round and then subsequently we raised angels from PatSnap, Shopback, Carousell, Glints, [and] Dr. Tan Min Han as well. So he's actually the Lucence, founder. So they are like founders supporting founders,” Lou said.

“We’re happy that in the last six months, we’ve seen very strong growth, a very strong traction from early adopters here in Singapore, amongst the executives. So actually, that’s a relevant audience for us,” he said.

Now, Mito Health is suiting up for efficacy as a health optimisation platform keeping track of how to improve on servicing its clients.

Long-term goals

At this point, Mito Health’s approach is very “individual-focused,” addressing what clients want and need. But ultimately, Lou said the goal is to “consistently launch features which add value to each individual's health journey over multiple decades."

He is serious about the need for his startup to attract more clients. “I think that’s like a very crucial part of any startup,” Lou said. “So, that’s like the main initiatives that we’re working on [in terms of] improving the product.”

To do so, Mito Health is embarking on drawing more feedback, insights and inputs from product users. It has a team that is focused on monitoring the performance of the platform.

Another top priority for the firm is hiring the right people since everything this tech company develops for the market is built in-house. It bids for an engineering team and a go-to market. “We are experimenting [on] various go-to markets to market to the end clients who are relevant for us,” Lou said.

Envisioning the future for Mito Health, Lou said the tech company endeavors to be every person’s “health partner,” wherein clients are committed to return annually or biannually to re-evaluate and gain more insights about their health.

He believes this all contributes to realising the pursuit of longevity. “The mission is really to extend our clients’ [lifespan] and the health span of the population,” said Lou. “[That is] something that we aspire to be, because it’s so incredibly important and valuable to build a company like that.”

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