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InsideTracker Review: Evaluating their health tests and insights

We tell you all the details about InsideTracker -- cost, scientific merit, convenience, privacy and more

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Nathan LeDeaux, MD
Last Updated: Sep 14, 2020

InsideTracker review

In 2020, a growing number of Americans are turning to telehealth companies to provide access to health testing and advice. While new companies seemingly appear each month, InsideTracker has been in the telehealth business for over a decade.

Whereas some companies focus on improving health from one standpoint – nutrition, mental or physical fitness, aging, physical appearance, or others – InsideTracker aims to do all of the above in a meaningful way, providing potentially a wealth of actionable insights using an array of tests, tons of data, and a sophisticated algorithm.

How well does InsideTracker succeed in doing this? Are its tests, insights and algorithm based on sound science? Are its services a good value? Should you try its tests, and what is involved? We thoroughly tested InsideTracker in order to answer all of these questions and more, in order for you to decide if you should give it a try.

Review Summary

Pros

  • Combines a variety of data types to give you a well-rounded picture of your health and wellness.
  • Each recommendation has strong scientific backing, and InsideTracker is transparent about which biomarkers have the most impact on your health.
  • You can employ a combination of recommendations that fit best with your lifestyle.
  • Highly flexible plans with actionable insights.
  • Over 2,000 partnering lab locations across the United States.
  • InsideTracker is giving our readers 25% off any order, using our promo code: INNERBODY25

Cons

  • If you want to take full advantage of everything that InsideTracker has to offer (including regular retesting), it can be quite costly.
  • The Home Kit is not available in NY.
  • While anyone can use InsideTracker plans, they are most applicable to those interested in athletic performance.
  • The primary focus of InsideTracker is on blood biomarkers. If you want to know more about your DNA, there are other kits on the market that are more comprehensive.

Bottom line

If you want to revolutionize the way you approach your health and fitness goals (and you don’t mind parting with some cash), then InsideTracker is the solution for you. We love that this platform uses a multidisciplinary approach to provide genuinely helpful recommendations and helps you integrate them into your life over time. InsideTracker was founded by experienced scientists from Harvard and MIT, and we believe that their data-driven and customizable plans are raising the bar for how health technology platforms will work in the future.

Our Top Picks

InsideTracker

InsideTracker, with its assortment of testing plans and detailed, actionable insights, offers a great service to help you improve your health. Get 25% off using our promo code (INNERBODY25).

Whether your interest is fitness, overall wellness, nutrition, physical appearance, biological age, or all of the above, InsideTracker can deliver the goods. It partners with reputable labs, relies transparently on good science, and gives actionable recommendations.

Why you should trust us

Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions about staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

This review, like all medical-related content on this website, is thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy. Additionally, we extensively analyze each health-related service we review. We evaluate the entire customer experience from signing up to the use of the product or service, and then offer unbiased, marketing-jargon-free analysis based on the latest scientific evidence and medical standards.

What does InsideTracker do?

InsideTracker is a Massachusetts-based company founded in 2009 by experts in aging, genetics, nutrition, and medicine from prestigious institutes (Harvard, Tufts, and MIT). The company combines its own testing with extensive and thoughtfully integrated scientific data in order to give you recommendations for how you can improve your health.

InsideTracker starts by collecting and analyzing your DNA, biomarkers in your blood, and lifestyle information that you provide. If you have existing blood test data from recent bloodwork at 23andMe or AncestryDNA, you can also opt to share it with them in order for them to analyze based on this data.

InsideTracker’s sophisticated algorithm combines all of the data, along with up-to-date scientific research and extensive databases, to generate ultra-personalized recommendations for you – actionable insights that allow you to reach your health and wellness goals. They present the highly detailed results together with their recommendations and with the science behind each fully explained for clarity. Each recommendation is rated to reflect the strength of the supporting scientific evidence. This high level of transparency enables you to get a feel for how likely each change is to push you towards your goals.

In addition to assessing the personalized health and wellness recommendations based on their scientific merits, you can also choose the insights that work best for you. For example, let’s say one of your daily recommendations was to “eat more oatmeal” but you hate oatmeal. In this case, you can instead choose to focus on another insight, such as “take a garlic supplement!” In this way, results are all actionable and beneficial whether you adopt all recommendations or just the ones that you find suitable. In this way, the InsideTracker experience is highly customizable and extremely flexible. The company even offers recipes to help you incorporate new dietary changes.

InsideTracker is not merely a testing company. Instead, they offer a platform that encourages and facilitates your progress. Like many fitness apps (such as MyFitnessPal, Noom, and Lose It!), you can track your progress through daily check-ins, action plans, and setting reminders. To satisfy the needs of elite athletes, they even have a “coach dashboard” where an athletic coach can monitor all their athletes at once!

How does InsideTracker work?

InsideTracker’s platform is built on integrating a variety of different types of data to generate reliable recommendations that will help people reach their health and fitness goals. The sources of their data include:

  • Biomarkers in the blood
  • DNA data
  • Personal information such as height, weight, age, gender, and ethnicity
  • Nutrition and lifestyle information (such as dietary preferences, activity levels, and mental health)
  • Information from wearable devices such as step counting and heart rate monitoring (this is part of InsideTracker’s future directions)

This wealth of data is combined and processed by computer scientists into a format that can be fed into InsideTracker’s “crowning achievement” – an algorithmic engine called SegterraX. SegterraX integrates all of these inputs with huge amounts of data from scientific publications, healthy volunteers, and food databases in order to generate meaningful and actionable insights about your health.

illustration of InsideTracker’s algorithm

How much does InsideTracker cost?

InsideTracker offers a variety of plans, each with different features and at varying costs.

Their most comprehensive plan is the Ultimate plan, which costs $589. This analysis measures 43 biomarkers. Their Vitality plan, which measures 20 biomarkers, is $389. The High Performance ($299) and Essentials ($189) plans each analyze 12 biomarkers, with a focus on fitness or wellness, respectively. They also offer a product called InnerAge, which costs $99 and measures a collection of blood biomarkers related to your biological (rather than chronological) age.

Right now, InsideTracker is offering our readers 25% off any order. In order to get this deal, you must use our promo code: INNERBODY25. We are not sure how long this offer will last but will update this review accordingly.

Here are the prices of those plans, with our 25% discount:

  • Ultimate plan: $442
  • Vitality plan: $292
  • High Performance plan: $224
  • Essentials plan: $142
  • InnerAge: $74

Alongside the biomarker testing, InsideTracker also offers DNA testing, with the DNA Kit costing $249 (or $187 with our promo code). The different prices and plans are quite flexible. If you buy the DNA test, you can upgrade to include the blood tests (and vice versa) at any time. They also offer multibuy discounts for purchasing multiple tests at once, useful for retesting.

If you have blood test results from another company (only 23andme or AncestryDNA), InsideTracker will analyze this for you starting from $49. You can also upload blood test data from other sources as part of their “DIY” plans.

Finally, you pay an extra $96 for a mobile blood draw, where you don’t have to go to a lab to deposit your sample. Instead, they will send a healthcare professional to your home to draw your blood sample. This service not only adds convenience, but it also saves you from potential exposure to a multitude of people during the COVID-19 pandemic. InsideTracker provides links to its mobile service partners so that you can know what PPE protocols they have adopted in order to protect customers.

Products

Ultimate plan

The Ultimate plan is the most comprehensive plan offered by InsideTracker. It includes an analysis of 43 markers within the following categories:

  • Energy and metabolism (such as glucose, cholesterol, hemoglobin, and triglycerides)
  • Strength and endurance (such as creatine kinase, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), and cortisol)
  • Bone and muscle (calcium and vitamin D)
  • Brain and body (magnesium, folate, and vitamin B12)
  • Oxygen and performance (such as ferritin and iron)
  • Inflammation (white blood cell count and high sensitivity C-reactive protein)
  • Minerals (potassium and sodium)
  • Liver (Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT))
  • Complete blood count (hemoglobin, red blood cell counts, and white blood cell counts)

Based on this data, InsideTracker offers personalized recommendations to help you get your biomarkers into the optimal range. These insights include advice on nutrition, supplements, lifestyle, and exercise.

Overall, the Ultimate plan allows customers to enhance their athletic performance, improve cognition and mood, raise metabolism and boost energy, reduce inflammation, and aid liver function. The product can be upgraded to add InnerAge and DNA insights at any time. There are also four additional plans at different price points, each testing a subset of these 43 biomarkers, discussed below.

Vitality plan

The Vitality plan is similar to the Ultimate plan but focuses on 20 of the core biomarkers, rather than the 43 offered by the ultimate test. This plan can also be upgraded to include DNA insights.

High Performance plan

InsideTracker’s High Performance plan is a more affordable option, providing insights into 12 biomarkers, rather than the 43 offered by the Ultimate. High Performance is more focussed on the areas of strength, endurance, and recovery. It is aimed at people who want to improve their fitness or athletic performance. This plan can also be upgraded to DNA insights.

Essentials plan

For the same price as the High Performance plan, the Essential plan offers insights into 12 biomarkers. Rather than a focus on performance markers, however, this plan focuses on general wellness, measuring energy and metabolism markers as well as overall health.

Home Kit

One of the potential downsides of the comprehensive blood biomarker testing is the need to visit a registered laboratory to provide the sample. To overcome this, InsideTracker also offers testing of a panel of 7 key wellness biomarkers that can be analyzed from finger-prick blood as opposed to requiring a blood draw from a vein. This means you can collect the sample from the comfort of your own home. InsideTracker’s Home Kit is available nationwide except in New York.

DNA Kit

In addition to their biomarker testing plans, InsideTracker has recently launched a DNA testing service. Their DNA Kit offers insights into how genetic variation could impact 29 wellness traits. The analysis is based on a comprehensive 261 genetic markers. These wellness traits include factors related to weight, aging, sleep, athletic performance, and food sensitivities. You can also upgrade this plan to include blood testing. Together, these tests can offer more in-depth insight into how your DNA, biomarkers, and lifestyle are interacting to influence your health. Better still, you can make use of the actionable insights to make meaningful changes in your diet and lifestyle.

InnerAge

A product that InsideTracker calls “a blood test for truth seekers,” InnerAge calculates your “biological age” based on a selection of lifestyle traits and blood biomarkers. These markers include:

  • Blood glucose (the only biomarker they note has a “high impact” on longevity)
  • Vitamin D (medium impact)
  • High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP, associated with inflammation and heart disease, medium impact),
  • Alanine aminotransferase (ALT, associated with liver function, medium impact)
  • Testosterone (men only, low impact)
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS, women only, low impact)

InnerAge also takes into account two lifestyle factors: body mass index (BMI) and activity levels (based on an activity score).

Based on this information, InsideTracker gives you personalized nutrition and activity plans to improve your biological age, which is linked to your overall health. You can think of the InnerAge test results not as something set in stone, but rather something that is highly actionable and fundamentally tied to your health and lifestyle.

InsideTracker Immunity

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, InsideTracker has very recently launched a new product that focuses on examining biomarkers that may relate to the strength and effectiveness of the immune system.

Getting started with InsideTracker

Getting started with one of InsideTracker’s testing plans is very straightforward. Here’s the process for everything aside from DNA and home test kits:

  1. Select the InsideTracker plan that works best for you and make your purchase.

  2. Print out the lab slip and take it to one of their partner laboratories (Quest labs) to have your sample taken. You must fast for 12 hours before your sample is collected. Some states require you to purchase the mobile blood draw option to get your blood sample taken (New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Hawaii).

  3. Receive your results and take action. Your results will be available for you to view in 5-7 days. You can then start to implement their recommendations!

If you choose the DNA Kit, you first place an order and await the arrival of your kit, which contains everything you need to complete the test. Once it arrives, you simply swab the inside of your cheek to collect the sample and send it back to InsideTracker. The turnaround times for the DNA test are a little longer, around 4-6 weeks.

If you order the Home Kit, your blood droplet collection kit will arrive in the mail, allowing you to test for 7 biomarkers from the convenience of home and at a time of your choosing. Administering this test will only require a few minutes.

On average, InsideTracker’s customers retest their blood biomarkers every seven months. This is because these markers frequently change in response to diet and lifestyle changes. InsideTracker suggests that testing 2-3 times a year is sufficient for wellness purposes, but 3-5 times a year is more appropriate for those trying to improve their athletic performance.

Does InsideTracker protect your privacy?

InsideTracker is fully HIPAA compliant. This means that your information is as safe as it would be with your doctor. For DNA testing, you can opt-in for your data to be used for their scientific research, but this is not essential, and you can opt-out at any time.

HSA, FSA and health insurance

InsideTracker plans are eligible for coverage by HSA/FSA benefits. However, you should check with your insurance provider to ensure your particular policy covers the tests.

How we evaluate health service companies

At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For InsideTracker and other health services and products, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:

Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telehealth services, is the quality of the service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?

User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the device/program/app/website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?

Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?

Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?

Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service ideal for you?

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