Everlywell Review: This at-home lab testing service has the potential to change the way Americans receive health care

Everylywell is an internet-based medical lab testing service that sells at-home tests for food sensitivities, fertility, STDs, thyroid imbalances and other conditions. The company will be the first service of its kind to offer consumer COVID-19 testing when it starts selling coronavirus collection kits in June.

In total, Everlywell’s menu of services consists of 30 different tests. The drop-down menu on Everlywell’s main page groups them into five different categories: general wellness, energy and weight, sexual health, men’s health and women’s health.

Before launching Everlywell the telehealth service’s founder and CEO Julia Cheek was the Vice President of Corporate Strategy at the money transfer service MoneyGram. A sudden bout of mysterious health issues inspired her to start an at-home medical testing service. She developed the Everylywell concept and pitched her plan during an episode of the business reality television series Shark Tank. That’s where she hooked up with investor Lori Greiner, who awarded her a $1 million line of credit.

In April of 2019, Everlywell announced that it had raised $50 million in a funding round led by Goodwater Capital, with participation from Highland Capital Partners, Next Coast Ventures, NextGen Venture Partners, and others. That news came on the heels of seed funding rounds that resulted in $5 million worth of investments.

Product and services

General wellness tests

Consisting of 11 different tests, the general wellness category seems to be Everlywell’s main focus. The tests you’ll find in this section give you the ability to do things like find out if you have food allergies and learn whether or not hormonal imbalances are stopping you from getting sleep at night. You can either test for specific foods or buy an all-in-one test that checks for a variety of different food sensitivities. Various vitamin tests let you see whether or not you’re getting adequate nutrition. If you think that you may have been exposed to environmental toxins, you can purchase the heavy metals test. The Hemoglobin A1C test can provide an early warning of diabetes and other blood sugar-related diseases.

Energy and weight tests

With Everlywell’s energy and weight tests, you can check the state of your metabolism and investigate to see if your thyroid gland is causing weight loss or gain. You can also test to see if your body is getting enough vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D can cause fatigue, depression and other symptoms that can lead to weight gain and energy loss.

Sexual health tests

These tests let you discreetly find out if you have chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, herpes Type 2, HIV, syphilis or trichomoniasis without having to go through the stress of visiting a brick-and-mortar clinic. The testing kits come with all the necessary tools for collecting the required blood and urine samples on your own. You can either select an individual test or buy all of the tests together at a discounted price.

Men’s health tests

There are two tests in this category. The cheapest one lets you take a look at your testosterone levels, while the most expensive one is a general men’s health test that checks for the presence of not only testosterone but also DHEA-S, cortisol and free estradiol. Saliva is all that’s required for the testosterone test, but the general men’s health test requires you to send in both saliva and blood.

Women’s health tests

Everlywell’s all-in-one women’s health test analyzes 11 biomarkers (10 hormones and 1 antibody). These include estradiol, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, DHEAS, cortisol, thyroid-stimulating hormone, free T3, free T4, thyroid peroxidase antibodies and testosterone. Other available tests in this category look for indications of postmenopause, perimenopause and HPV. The ovarian reserve test lets you see if you have a normal number of eggs for your age.

Frequently asked questions about Everlywell

Are Everlywell’s tests legitimate?

Yes. According to the support section of Everlywell’s website, all of the labs that process samples for the telehealth service meet CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) standards. CLIA regulations are designed to ensure that test results are accurate, reliable and delivered in a timely manner.

Does Everlywell sell its customers’ data?

No. Everlywell has pledged to never sell its customer-generated data. Furthermore, the company has promised to “anonymize, de-identify and aggregate” all information used in research papers that draws from Everlywell’s patient database.

What will happen to my sample after Everlywell tests it?

The company keeps all samples for a week or two in the event that a retest is needed and incinerates the samples in accordance with standard biological specimen disposal protocols.

Will my insurance company cover the cost of Everlywell testing?

In general, no. Everlywell currently doesn’t have a relationship with any insurance company. On the other hand, most HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) and FSA (Flexible Spending Accounts) can be used to pay for these expenses. In addition, some insurance providers will cover the cost of the following tests: cholesterol & lipids, inflammation & Vitamin D and comprehensive thyroid. Be sure to check with your insurance provider first before you order to find out which tests are covered and which are not.

Media mentions

The World’s Most Innovative Wellness Companies of 2019
Everlywell earned a spot on Fast Company’s list of innovative wellness-related companies last year. Fast Company praised Everlywell for offering a “much easier, faster, and more affordable alternative” to standard health clinic testing

Austin-Based Digital Health Startup EverlyWell Raises $50M
This article from Crunchbase News explains Everlywell’s origins story and highlights the telehealth service’s 2019 fundraising efforts.

Can At-Home Lab Testing Answer Your Health Needs?
Forbes contributor Jeanne Croteau looks into Everlywell’s product offerings and concludes that Everlywell may be a good way for some people to get tested– especially those with no insurance or limited insurance.

Everlywell Founder Julia Cheek is Changing an Outdated Industry
Create & Cultivate focused this interview with Everlywell founder Julia Creek around the problems in the health industry that her company has the potential to correct. Cheek explained how “people who are uninsured, lack access to transportation, live in rural communities, or have work schedules that make it difficult for them to visit the doctor” can use Everlywell to overcome these issues.

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