Boston, US-based Humanity is a healthcare company that aims to extend the healthspan of humanity. The company develops a software application designed to provide information on how to stop the ageing process.
Humanity launches app and raises funds
In a recent development, the health-tech app announced the launch of its app as well as raised $2.5M (approx €2.1M) in a fresh round of funding. With this development, the company has now raised a total of $5M in funding, to date.
The proceeds from this round will be used by the company to scale its services globally as the UN and WHO agree that 2021 – 2030 is the decade for healthy ageing.
The round saw participation from 65 of the biggest health-tech and consumer-tech investors and founders, including Alex Tew and Michael Acton-Smith (co-founders of Calm); Taavet Hinrikus (co-founder of Wise, founding team of Skype); Robin Thurston (co-founder of MyFitnessPal); One Way Ventures; 7Percent; Seedcamp; Breega; Alexander Ljung (CEO & co-founder of Soundcloud), and Esther Dyson (a Swiss-born American investor).
The founders have also attracted backing and support of scientists onto their Science Advisory Board, including Kristen Fortney, co-founder of BioAge; George Church who helped map the Human Genome and a Professor at Harvard Medical School; and Aubrey de Grey, one of the leading lights in the ageing science movement and, Chief Science Officer at the SENS Research Foundation, amongst others.
Ability to slow or even reverse your biological age?
Humanity, which launches today in the UK and later in the US and worldwide in the first week of September, is a navigation app for your health. Founders Pete Ward and Michael Geer teamed up over two years ago with an aim to create a world-first app that can monitor your biological age and help you slow and even reverse it.
Founder Michael Geer explains, “Ageing remains the leading cause of disease globally, but few people make the connection between ageing and their overall health – and most feel ultimately helpless to tackle it. Being ‘healthy’ is quite a nebulous term as it is completely personal to each individual. Being able to monitor your ageing provides a truly holistic indicator of health, which could help reduce your probability of disease and extend the healthy lives of millions.”
According to a statement from the company, last year in 2020, it was estimated that the Coronavirus pandemic cut life expectancy in England and Wales by one year. However, Humanity’s aim is to extend the global healthspan (years of fully functional health life), and inevitably, lifespan would follow.
How does it work?
The Humanity app compares users’ data with others similar to them and provides dynamic personalised advice and guidance that encourage positive actions. Each positive action increases the users’ Humanity Score (H Score) in the app under one of four key categories – ‘movement’, ‘mind’, ‘recovery’ and ‘nutrition’. The higher the H Score over a sustained period of time, the increased probability that you will see a slowing or reversal in the ageing process over time.
The Humanity app connects with sensors in your smartphone and wearable technology to track key biomarkers such as heart rate, step rate, sleep, and activity to calculate each users’ ‘rate of ageing’ and ‘biological age’. This is done through a series of machine learning algorithms that have been validated against real world outcomes from longitudinal biobanks (including the UK Biobank).
Peter Ward, CEO and co-founder of Humanity says, “For years, fitness trackers and smartwatches have monitored our calories and step-count to get us moving and increase our exercise, but until now there has been no way of understanding whether these things were actually making them healthier. Humanity is solving that problem by building a health navigation system for us all. Our mission is to help users understand exactly what actions are working to slow their ageing, so they can live a healthier, longer, more resilient life.”
Last year, when the company launched a beta version of the app, it witnessed that the majority of subscribers took immediate positive health actions after joining and used it daily or weekly to monitor their ageing. Within just a few months, it reached the maximum number of users (10,000) on TestFlight (Apple’s app testing facility) and currently has a waiting list of tens of thousands of users.
Currently, the Humanity app is available to download in the UK and Ireland for free that allows you to monitor your rate of ageing. However, a premium subscription service is also available that enables users to continuously monitor biological age and the actions that are affecting it. The company says it will continue to introduce new updates, as well as launch more specific personalised guidance later in the year.