Jul 08, 2021 | 3 min read
Gut health or microbiome testing has grown in popularity among consumers over the past 10 years since its inception as an available consumer service. This has been driven by an improved understanding of the link between gut health and overall health & wellbeing. Consequently, many start-ups have emerged and launched consumer-focused dietary & lifestyle advisory services based on gut health testing.
For companies interested in tapping into this growing trend, setting up a lab and managing the logistics of sending out sample kits, receiving samples and performing the required analysis has become an unfortunate necessity rather than a value adding activity. It thus makes perfect sense if you are a health & wellness, F&B, nutraceutical or drug company interested in or already offering a consumer gut health test to outsource this test to a third party…..if the option exists.
Like all sectors, the gut health testing area is evolving. From initially only catering to early adopters interested in exploring their gut health inspired by similar service providers in the genomic space such as 23&Me, both gut health testing and data needs have evolved. For example, the natural variability of the gut microbiome, unlike with genetic testing, has demonstrated the need for multiple samples during each sample period or over time to increase the reliability of results.
Carbiotix has launched its LinkGut gut health testing service in direct response to this need for a low cost, reliable and flexible service. By offering LinkGut to multiple parties, we can achieve economies of scale thus lowering the price per sample. Moreover, by offering LinkGut as a complementary service to the company’s prebiotic-based modulators and core business area, Carbiotix can further lower the cost per test for consumers. By lowering the cost per sample, we can increase the number of samples collected per sample period and over time, thus increasing the reliability of data.
Reliability is also impacted by ensuring that sample kits reach consumers and their samples reach the lab for analysis. This is why Carbiotix introduced global courier shipping to and from consumers. The API solution launched by Carbiotix also addresses the need for flexibility and lies at the heart of the outsourcing solution offered. Companies can design the sampling kit, sampling schedule and type of analysis based on their needs, while maintaining a consistent brand identity through-out the service.
Regardless, if you are at the idea or start-up stage, or are well established in your business operations, exploring the option of outsourcing gut health testing services is something that should be seriously considered and will most likely pay dividends over the long term. It will allow you to avoid the cost and challenges of setting up and operating a costly consumer gut health testing service, and instead allow you focus on value adding activities related to data interpretation, analysis, recommendations and selling products. While vertical integration does make sense in many sectors, in this case outsourcing is the more cost-effective, reliable and flexible option.