Tally Health announces innovative next-gen epigenetic age clock

Proprietary CheekAge clock delivers science-backed age measurement through non-invasive collection method.

Tally Health, a consumer longevity company that aims to change the way people age, today announced the scientific demonstration of a novel next-generation aging clock, CheekAge.

Longevity.Technology: With an eye on transparency, Tally Health has committed to share its latest research for public review and has published in the scientific aging journal GeroScience. The company captured lifestyle and health information, as well as DNA methylation samples, from a cohort of over 8,000 diverse individuals, leveraging the data to create a proprietary epigenetic aging clock for age prediction using buccal swabs. Because CheekAge uses a non-invasive collection method, it should make age testing more accessible.

The body of work behind Tally Health’s CheekAge clock provides the scientific foundation for the company’s currently available TallyAge Test. The paper aims to establish Tally Health’s ability to build an accurate and reproducible next-generation aging clock that relies on a non-invasive process for DNA collection.

To create CheekAge, Tally Health used state-of-the-art machine-learning methods developed by its in-house scientific research team to incorporate DNA methylation signals, as well as lifestyle and health factors from its data set, into model training. The CheekAge clock was built using a combination of methods including multi-objective optimization and model ensembling, which further improved accuracy and test-retest reliability. Once trained, Tally Health validated and verified the accuracy of CheekAge on various publicly available datasets, including those from patients with cancer, COVID-19 and progeria, a genetic disease that causes accelerated aging.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Tally Health Chief Executive Officer Melanie Goldey referenced Tally’s commitment to transparency.

“Scientific integrity is a core value at Tally Health as we pursue our mission to help increase human healthspan and lifespan,” she said. “Publishing our research for public review in peer-reviewed journals reinforces the credibility of the tools we offer; consumers can trust Tally to show that longevity isn’t just a movement, it’s science.”

Tally Health announces innovative next-gen epigenetic age clock
Tally provides age testing and personalized interventions to help reduce epigenetic age.

Epigenetic aging clocks that employed non-invasive cheek swab collection have faced accuracy issues due to testing and sampling limitations [1]. To try to address this, Tally Health collected DNA methylation from cheek swabs, as well as lifestyle, and health information, all from a landmark dataset of 8,045 diverse adults, evenly split by sex at birth, ranging in age from 18 to 100 years old, and with over 30% non-white participants. By working with a large and well-distributed data set, Tally Health’s science team was able to build a more accurate and representative next-generation aging clock optimized for prediction from cheek swabs.

“We’re proud to see our proprietary CheekAge clock receive validation from the scientific community with the publication of our research,” said Tally Health’s Head of Bioinformatics, Max Shokhirev, PhD. “At Tally Health, we believe everyone should be able to track their epigenetic age using a non-invasive test associated with lifestyle changes, which is why the work behind CheekAge is so important. We owe it to our customers to demonstrate the research and development that has gone into CheekAge which serves as the inspiration for our TallyAge Test, and receiving this recognition is a major step in that direction.”

Tally Health claims that in just over a year since its launch, its preventative health solution of repeat epigenetic age testing and personalized interventions to help reduce epigenetic age have produced dramatic results amongst the company’s subscriber base. Since the commercial launch of the company in February 2023, it says, 62% of Tally Health members have been able to reduce their epigenetic age by an average of 2.34 years, while 75% of members have increased their lifestyle survey scores, a measure of how well they are doing across five key wellness areas – diet, fitness, sleep, mental health and habits.

Tally Health now plans to apply lessons from the development of CheekAge to help it improve personalized lifestyle recommendations, explore how methylation changes with time during aging, and continue improving the TallyAge Test, including increased accuracy, explainability, correlation with a wider variety of health and lifestyle factors and test-retest reliability.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9593711/