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New DNA and epigenetic tests help PAM Group to accelerate growth

A series of tests which show whether a person is prone to developing a host of health conditions including diabetes and cancer, and how they can tailor their lifestyle to lower their risk, are being launched by preventative healthcare specialist PAM Group to accelerate growth for its ToHealth division.

They are the latest addition to Warrington-headquartered PAM Group’s offering and follow the backing it received from private equity firm LDC last year to support its expansion and the launch of new products and services.

ToHealth’s DNA and Epigenetic tests analyse 1,000 types of DNA from one saliva sample.

An individual’s DNA holds the essential information to their development, function and growth and cannot be changed. Epigenetics adds another layer of information, enabling a person to identify how their lifestyle and environment impacts the way their genes work, which can raise the risk of illness.

Each test result comes with a personalised insight into an individual’s state of health and can reveal a wide range of potential risk areas. These include immunity risk, response to stress, biological age and the risk of developing hidden conditions such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, hypertension and coronary heart disease.

The genetic information and insights are accessible via an app which aims to help individuals tailor their lifestyle to improve their wellbeing and stave off the threat of disease, helping to reduce workplace absenteeism.

The new service for ToHealth’s corporate clients forms part of its employee wellbeing offering and will be a key driver for expansion as it targets revenues of £9m this year, up from £5m in 2021.

ToHealth managing director Kerry-Dene Ihlenfeldt said: “As a business, we don’t stand still. We continuously seek innovative solutions to positively impact the health and wellbeing of our clients’ employees.

“Epigenetics strengthens our position at the forefront of proactive and preventative health screening, and our investment in these new tests provides us with a significant opportunity to further accelerate our growth.

“They complement our existing offering and enable individuals to take control of their health and lifestyle through a hyper-personalised analysis of the test results.”

She added: “We know that a large proportion of workplace absenteeism is caused by stress, anxiety or depression, and that most cases involve lifestyle issues such as inactivity, a poor diet or being overweight. The underlying issues are often the same as those for cardiac problems, diabetes and cancer.

“The pandemic has thrust employee health and wellbeing into the spotlight. Our recent research shows that most employees feel that support in this area from their employer would make them less likely to want to move jobs, but that employers are missing valuable opportunities to stop their people getting sick in the first place.

“We have also found that 40 per cent of people value wellbeing advice based on personalised data and are more confident in digital health solutions.

“Taking these factors into consideration, we believe that there is significant demand for our new tests.”

Kerry added: “Employers will benefit from the test outcomes, as reduced absenteeism will boost efficiency, productivity and employee satisfaction, leading to an improved business performance.

“We will through extensive investment in our data strategy provide clients with access to real-time employee health insights, enabling them to gain a holistic view of the health and wellbeing of their workforce and to effectively respond to changes by making data-driven business decisions.”

ToHealth is partnering with testing company Muhdo for the new offering.

PAM Group is one of the largest occupational health, employee assistance and wellbeing providers in the UK. It offers a range of integrated services to public and private sector clients, supporting more than a million employees at over 1,000 businesses and organisations.

The group is looking to double turnover to £80m over the next few years through continued organic growth and acquisitions.

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Kerry-Dene Ihlenfeldt, managing director of PAM Group's ToHealth business

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A recent report by the ONS showed sickness absence from the workplace was last year at its highest level since 2010, due to the pandemic. These tests aim to reduce workplace absenteeism by helping to improve the health and wellbeing of employees.

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