Posted June 25, 2024

A few years ago, we wrote an article predicting that a consumer health company could become the biggest company in the world. More recently, we’ve argued that building new companies with magical consumer experiences that inspire behavior change is the most powerful way to extend our lifespans. The opportunity to radically reinvent healthcare to be consumer-friendly is massive—both from an economic perspective and one of maximizing our number of years on this planet.

Recently, we invested in Function Health, a company that embodies the vision and excitement we had when writing those theses. The one piece we underestimated is the current state of latent demand among consumers for a new approach to healthcare and longevity. Since launching a beta in 2023, Function has amassed nearly 50k members with little marketing.

Function aims to integrate all of your health data with all of the world’s health knowledge to best inform what actions you can take to live 100 healthy years. Function helps you fully understand what’s happening in your body, initially through the most powerful data source in healthcare: blood. Members of Function do incredibly robust lab testing of over 100 biomarkers—five times what lab work at an average annual physical includes—twice a year, and can add on a multitude of tests when they need it. Using a mixture of AI and human clinicians, Function explains the results for members in clear English.

This is just the starting point. When Function unites all of your health data—from their labs, your doctor’s EHR, and your wearable devices—into one place, the potential to improve human health is amazing. While the promise of a world-class AI doctor is more tangible than ever, the strongest LLMs and health AI companies are currently limited to providing generalized information that is directionally helpful but lacks individual context, the most vital part. Function, on the other hand, will marry individual health data with all the world’s health research to best serve individuals. Said another way, Function’s value will be compounded by the advancement of AI.

Function started a movement and has fundamentally changed consumer behavior. Prior, we’d only seen this level of organic, hockey-stick growth in companies that sell vices online. Function is the opposite: it’s a preventative, lifelong approach to health, not just a single event or doctor’s visit. It’s a new routine that enables people to catch health issues early and benefit from AI advancements. Traditional healthcare treats symptoms; Function finds root causes.

Historically, it takes 18 years for scientific medical discoveries to actually make their way into the practice of medicine. Function can change that to 18 seconds through ingesting all medical research, applying that to your health data, and serving that insight to you. Medicine is now data science, and doctors are not data scientists. Function will discover health issues before you or your doctor do. Furthermore, Function is slated to actually drive scientific discovery, facilitating virtual real-time research into cardiac health, inflammation, nutrition, and more.

We could not imagine a group better suited to build this company than the Function Health founding team. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Hyman is one of the nation’s foremost experts on the subject matter having founded the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. CEO Jonathan Swerdlin is a repeat founder who has healed himself through Function. COO Pranitha Patil led health strategy teams at Accenture and dropped out of grad school at Harvard to found the company. CTO Mike Nemke is a Green Beret (US Army Special Forces) turned AI engineer, and CPO Seth Weisfield was a Product Design Director working on AI at Meta.

In its relatively short life as a company, Function has already facilitated over 5 million lab tests, uncovering countless critical health issues and helping members avoid unnecessary suffering. People have saved their loved ones’ lives through gifting them Function. A 51-year-old mother discovered she had stage 3 ovarian cancer. A 35-year-old fit man revealed severe risk of heart disease. A 44-year-old man caught early stage prostate cancer. All benefited from early intervention thanks to Function, and this is just the beginning. We all deserve better when it comes to our health, and Function is helping us imagine a brighter future.

Join the mission—become a member and check out the careers at Function.