A partnership between Brisbane-based companies Midnight Health and Microba Life Sciences (ASX: MAP) has borne fruit within five months with the launch of Vidality, a precision prebiotics subscription service for improving the gut microbiome.
The new offering adds to a prolific roll-out of services from Midnight Health since it was founded in 2021, and comes shortly after a $12 million Series A funding round in August from health fund Nib (ASX: NIB), which had earlier pumped $4 million into the venture.
In late May, Microba and Midnight Health signed a three-year partnership to deliver personalised health services to the Australian market.
"Vidality is designed to transform how we understand and improve gut health in Australia," says Nic Blair, who co-founded Midnight Health with Matt Anderson, both winners of the 2022 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards in the Startup category.
"Every Australian has a diverse and unique microbiome, so rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, we are now enabling people to understand their unique gut health needs and access a prebiotic supplement that is specifically tailored to them.
"Vidality supports people through a holistic gut health journey that provides personalised analysis and results, educational resources and of course, access to our scientifically-developed, pharmaceutical-grade Precision Prebiotics."
The Vidality process starts with a toilet paper swab test that is sent to customers and returned for scientific analysis undertaken by Microba, with results and insights available via an online portal. The partnership then formulates a personalised prebiotic blend based on the individual’s results, which is compounded at a partner pharmacy and delivered monthly to the customer's door.
According to findings from the CSIRO released in January 2019, microbiome imbalances currently affect more than 50 per cent of Australians.
"We know that humans have about 39 trillion microbial cells and that each of us has a unique set of microbiota based on our DNA. When imbalances occur due to diet or lifestyle, it can impact anything from immunity to physiology," Microba CEO Luke Reid explains.
The service adds to an existing portfolio of offerings from the digital healthcare startup including text-based telehealth consults, e-prescriptions, at-home testing and medication delivery to men and women over the age of 18, across three dedicated brands
The brand Youly targets women's healthcare, Stagger targets men's healthcare, and hub.health caters to all demographics looking to access healthcare solutions for everyday health through to chronic conditions.
"Currently the platform provides prescriptions and medication for emergency contraception, contraceptive pill, acne, eczema, sleep, hair loss, erectile dysfunction and more," Blair explains.
"Our value proposition is that we provide a more convenient, discreet and hassle-free solution for obtaining prescriptions and medication for various conditions, allowing patients to access care at a time and location that suits them.
"Over time, we will become the most comprehensive patient health record on an individual, creating an opportunity to move into preventative health through the use of predictive health analytics."
Midnight Health has a network of 46 Australian doctors, pharmacies and healthcare practitioners to provide seamless online patient access from telehealth consultations with GPs, through to the delivery of pharmaceuticals direct to a customer’s door. This includes delivering to Australia's remote Kiwirrkurra Community, Western Australia which is more than 800km from nearest big town.
Following its Series A, the group highlighted it had provided services to more than half of all Australian postcodes.
“We have been able to deliver health services to some really remote parts of Australia that were suffering from a dire lack of access to GPs,” Blair said at the time.
"People living in regional areas may wait weeks for an appointment with a GP. Our telehealth services provide that access.
“We see our business growing strongly, offering an expanded range of products and services that includes referrals for pathology, radiology and specialists, allied health, over-the-counter pharmacy products and health management programs for chronic conditions.”
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