Biohacking: live longer, earn better

Biohacking: live longer, earn better

Maria Spark

Biohacking — do-it-yourself biology aimed at optimizing your body by means of biotechnologies. In simple words, this is a symbiosis between your body and technology. It includes medication, diets, sports practices, and other things. All these stimulate brain activity and keep you healthy and young.

Biohackers view the human body as an operational system. Like computers, our bodies can have ‘bugs’ — physical exhaustion, illnesses, and death. However, any system can be improved and protected from external damage.


Market research

It’s easier to operate or expand your business in an existing market. Though it’s a bigger challenge to create your own. That’s what entrepreneurs have to do in the biohacking industry. The main industry it covers is the healthcare market valued at $3,7 trillion. Partially, it encompasses the anti-aging sector which is projected to reach $55 billion by 2023. Also, the biohacking niche includes the IT market ($14 billion), smart devices ($4 billion), and synthetic biology ($3 billion).


Whatever estimates tell, the biohacking market is a huge, untapped, and fast-growing space for business. Each of its segments is expected to grow by 20% in a few years.

Methods

Traditionally, there are 3 biohacking methods:

Nutrigenomics

This is the study of how good affects the regulation of genes and well-being. Biohackers track the way food changes our body at the cellular level and correct the diet.

DIY-biology

It means do-it-yourself biology. Scientists share information on how to conduct experiments at home via simple tools. Mainly, researchers are interested in DNA analysis and gene modifications.

Grinder

This is a machine that allows optimizing your body through injections and devices like chips. For instance, biohackers put computer chips into themselves in order to store information like on a flash drive or open e-locks in their apartment.

Nevertheless, these methods are being used less. In the last years, biohacking has been regarded as preventive medicine.


Biomarker measurement

Any interference with our body like sport, meds, or diets is tracked by biomarkers. Biohackers check several vitals: the level of sugar in the blood, bacteria in the intestine, etc. It is essential in order to assess the risks for health and prevent abnormalities in time.


Startups:

  • One Drop

The startup provides complex solutions for managing diabetes, blood pressure, heart health, and weight. They give digital tools for health predictions, data tracking, and coaching. Moreover, One Drop offers a customized content library.

  • Kurbo

This is an app for helping teenagers and kids stay healthy. The platform enables users to form healthy habits by making a well-balanced menu, providing trained experts, and tracking one’s progress. According to independent research, 84% of kids and teens improved their BMI status with Kurbo.

Diet based on nutrigenomics

Methods can be traditional like eating more vegetables and less sugar. However, there are much more specific ones like cyclic fasting. As a result, our body starts to secrete ketones — an alternative energy source. Biohackers assert the diet helps save your health and work more productively. Whereas scientists consider it dangerous.

  • Cronometer

The app allows users to develop healthy habits by encouraging them to focus on their diet as a whole. They can count calories, track their macro and micronutrients, lose and gain weight effectively. Via Cronometer users also can see if they are getting enough vitamins and minerals.

Nootropics, stimulators, and bioactive supplements

Many biohackers take antidepressants, vitamins, minerals, and other additives. However, some of them misuse medical supplies. For instance, they take pills for diabetes mellitus hoping for an anti-aging effect.


Startups:

  • Examine

The company provides users with scientifically credible information on supplement-nutrient interactions. There is a team of scientists exploring the influence of supplements on our health. Examine daily releases articles on nootropics, different diseases, and mental disorders.

Frequently companies misrepresent scientific research to make people buy more supplements. In addition, reviews are often paid by brands to promote their products. Examine’s aim — to fight this misinformation regarding our health and bioactive supplements spread all over the world.

  • Labdoor

The startup allows users to find quality supplements with minimal effort. They provide articles on what products are considered safe and effective. Labdoor asserts they don’t collaborate with any manufacturer. That’s why they give exclusively non-biased reviews. The aim — to let consumers buy the supplements effective for them.

Gadgets and neurostimulators

Biohackers also tend to use gadgets for tracking their sleep cycles and devices for electric brain stimulation. In 2017, German scientists conducted a research where they asked the testees to come up with associations to words. Ultimately, those who had experienced e-stimulation generated more original combinations.

Startups:

  • Neuralink

The startup offers breakthrough technology for understanding, engineering, and interfacing with the brain. The platform provides articles, videos, and research enabling users to delve into neurosciences. Besides, Neuralink is working on the first neural implant for controlling devices wherever you go.

  • Kernel

The team of engineers, neuroscientists, and physicists have managed to design a full-stack neurotech device. Their aim — to quantify and understand the human brain. For example, their headset allows non-invasive recording of real-time cortical hemodynamics to establish precise patterns of brain activity.

Blood transfusion

In 2014, Stanford’s scientists conducted an experiment. They combined circulatory systems of old and young mice. It was found out that young stem cells could treat diseases, form new neurons, and boost muscle elasticity. Neurologists assume the transfusion of younger blood can have an anti-aging effect.

Startups:

  • Elevian

Its founders discovered circulating blood factors that regulate aging, particularly, GDF11. They actively stimulate the regeneration of brain, heart, pancreas, muscle, and other organs. Currently, the company is generating therapeutics boosting regenerative capacity, to treat and prevent age-related disease.

Moreover, now biohacking is penetrating the hardware market. In the customer segment, there are few players like Lumen, Amina, Spire, Sano, and Naked Labs. What concerns a higher level, there is nearly monopoly. These startups implement not only product innovations but also new business models.


The ultimate goal of biohacking is to prolong human lives as much as possible. However, the maximum human lifespan is not expected to be reached soon. This provides numerous opportunities for players in the biohacking market.

Today they can invest in analytics, hardware possibilities, and support hyper-connectivity. On top of that, they contribute to refusing mediation and facilitating the interaction between the human and technology.

In order to achieve it, the market pioneers will have to cope with ethical issues of biohacking, cybersecurity problems, and provide confidential data.