What is Tally Health?
As populations age and unhealthy habits pervade modern life, the strain on public resources intensifies. Researchers, therefore, search for ways to enhance human health and prolong life. Yet, most of this work remains confined to laboratories. The emergence of commercial companies such as Tally Health, however, changes the game. Boasting a waitlist of 270,000 people, they promise to provide real-time insights into our health through a biological clock. But can they truly answer the questions of ageing and declining health?
Tally Health uses its proprietary TallyAge clock to determine how old you really are. No, this isn’t sci-fi, and unlike Auntie Doreen, you really could have been 40 for the last 10 years. Analysing your biological age, the clock measures the condition of your body, which is more closely tied to life expectancy than chronological age.
What are the benefits of using Tally Health?
Based on this information and a person’s DNA, Tally Health provides personalised recommendations for a healthier lifestyle, such as which supplements to take and how to exercise. It’s like an MOT for your body, finding the most effective ways to keep you healthy. For example, it may find sleeping an extra hour is better for your body than spending that hour in the gym.
Founded by Harvard geneticist
Science backs the company’s approach to helping people live longer and healthier lives. Dr. David Sinclair, the co-founder and a Harvard geneticist, asserts that genetics plays a role of less than 10% in determining our longevity, with over 90% influenced by our daily lifestyle choices and environmental factors. Tally Health directly provides consumers with innovative tools and science, beginning with a simple cheek swab test that can be done at home. They analyze the tissue sample using their biological ageing clock and next-generation DNA analysis. The company built the clock using a diverse set of 8,000 DNA samples covering different ages, genders, and ethnicities to ensure the clock is accurate and applicable to wider society.
But why is Tally Health so popular?
A big driver behind Tally Health’s popularity has been its co-founder David Sinclair. Despite being a Harvard professor, he also commands considerable reach online. On Instagram, he has over 500k followers, and this is trending upwards. As evidenced, Instagram is a great platform for reach when compared to Facebook, so such a following can drive great awareness. Moreover, Dr. Sinclair focuses on educating his audience rather than selling. This is something we stress to our clients. As an agency for health brands, we have seen the power of delighting and informing prospective customers on social media, rather than just selling.
But, it’s not just social media that has driven this interest. Tally Health have received significant PR from big health publications, likely due to their famous founders. Moreover, they have leveraged their website which is starting to bring in organic traffic. However, branded searches, i.e., searches by people familiar with Tally Health, mainly drive this. Therefore, this is likely due to their PR activities. As SEO specialists we know their traffic could be increased further if they optimised for non-branded searches as well.
How much does Tally Health cost?
Tally Health’s promise to help people live longer, healthier lives is a positive step, but it comes with a high price tag. Membership is only available in the US and costs up to $199 per month, depending on the subscription length. This is a prohibitive cost, suggesting that it’s not a silver bullet solution to society’s health problems. There’s also the question of trust. While Dr Sinclair lends credibility to the approach, knowledge of these interventions remains limited to a select few, and many still view the idea of measuring biological age as science fiction.
Equitable health for all?
There is great potential for Tally Health to help deliver a healthier future. Such innovations are a step in the right direction as they enable people to make earlier health interventions. Yet we must not lose sight of the broader issues at hand. Preventative health measures should be for everyone. Equitable access to care is critical in building a society that values the health and well-being of all its citizens. We must strive towards a future where healthcare is not a luxury. It should not be reserved for the privileged few, but a fundamental right for all. Only then can we hope to truly address the challenges of an ageing population and the consequences of modern life.