Lifeforce cofounder on how increasing lifespan will change the way we treat disease and optimize healthspan.
Lifeforce is a functional healthcare company focusing on optimizing performance in mid-life. Encouraging clients to take a proactive approach to their healthspan, Lifeforce’s personalized plan combines biomarker testing, functional medicine doctors, certified health coaches, and advanced nutraceutical and hormone therapies. The company’s aim is to ensure its clients can look, feel and function at their best.
Longevity.Technology: The driving force behind the company determined to put a “world-class longevity and performance doctor into every pocket in America” is Lifeforce president and cofounder Joel Jackson. His aim is to add an impressive 3.32 billion years of healthy life to America by making healthspan optimization straightforward, understandable and personalized. We sat down with Jackson to find out more about changing the fundamental way we age, unsustainable healthcare costs and navigating the longevity ecosystem.
Joel Jackson on…
A fundamental change is coming
We’ve increased life expectancy over the last, say, 50 or 60 years – and we’ve been remarkably good at it. We’ve increased lifespan in the United States by something like seven or eight years since 1960, going from approximately 2000 centenarians to around 90,000 centenarians. We’ll have millions of centenarians here soon, but what’s really driving that is us getting pretty good at fixing things that break. And that’s really all that has changed so far.
I believe there’s going to be magic happening here in the next, say, 10 to 20 years; it won’t just be fixing things that break, it’s going to fundamentally change the way we age. We can see this happening because there’s more effort going into longevity, there’s more money and there’s more attention. How we currently manage disease will break down when this magic happens, because getting heart disease at 72 sucks, but it’s not that big of a deal if I live to 77. But if I live to 87, or 97, then heart disease becomes a very significant problem. So many age-related diseases like heart disease and diabetes start to take root from decisions we’ve made in our 30s, 40s and 50s. And if we don’t get those things right now, when these magical things come later, technology-wise, we’re not going to be really set to inherit them and take them on.
Good habits make for good healthspan
Something that I think everyone should be a little spooked about is this gap between disease-free life expectancy and life expectancy. If we live to 77, there’s an average 10-year gap during which we’re diseased – that’s like a whole lost decade on average for Americans, 3.7 billion years of lost time.
And so, what’s needed is early engagement with your health, someone who will nudge you along, keep you accountable and keep you going. This not only increases your life expectancy, but also your disease-free life expectancy and it shortens that gap. So you can imagine that by doing this well, we’re not just recovering 3.7 billion years of life, we’re probably getting even more than that.
Lifeforce engages customers with a clinician and an in-depth diagnostic four times a year, and this means no-one gets out of the rhythm of these habits they’re developing with us and they have that nudge factor.
Changing the system
The current system has trained the right number of doctors to fix sick people, and we’ve built up the insurance system to fix sick people. The economic incentives aren’t there to keep people healthy – it’s a systemic problem, but what we have started to see, over the last couple of years, is that technology is changing this economic equation. Now doctors don’t have to sift through mountains of data to understand what’s going on with my sleep – technology can start to surface that.
All these tools are changing the economics around engaging proactively with doctors, and this enables companies like Lifeforce to do what we’re doing – we’re taking these technology tools and we’re making doctors superhuman, enabling them to engage with you proactively in a way that they just really never could before, at a price point that normal people can afford. It’s a new trend that’s really accelerating quickly with the advent of all of the AI tools that are continuing to emerge.
2024 and beyond
People who are using Lifeforce are going to find what we do in 2024 pretty exciting! We’re bringing to market Lifescore which will be one central place for you to understand your health. Health navigation can be overwhelming – so many data points to take in and understand, it can be hard to figure out how you are doing and what to focus on for improvement. We’ll take all of that and distill it all into a score and show you the most important things you need to do to improve that score. It’s going to be a big difference maker for people who want to engage in an easy way with their health.