A Review of the Tiger Medical Institute Personalized Medical System – Pros and Cons
This article objectively reviews the personalized medical program Decode 2.0 offered by Tiger Medical Institute. The goal is for the reader to understand if this program is a good fit for their needs and resources.
We live in a society and culture that is radically different than just twenty years ago. If you are over 40 years old, the way you live is other than your childhood. Those over 40 grew up in an analog world where one could unplug; screen time wasn’t even a thing then. You had space or margin. Without intentional design of how you live today, there is no space, no margin anymore. Our culture is in constant stress response mode, always connected to a device, always available, with our work expecting instantaneous replies, no matter where we are. It’s a significant reason why burnout is increasing in all professions.
Individuals over 45 years old commonly experience anxiety, uncontrolled stress, sleep disturbances, mood problems, and challenges with emotional control. The reason is we as a society are depleted. This reality leads to consequences for health. Middle-aged individuals with primary responsibilities commonly feel mental and physical exhaustion, struggle with retaining weight around their waistline, report brain fog, and lack the productivity they once had, resorting to caffeinated drinks to get through their day. At Tiger Medical Institute, many of our clients enter our program on the verge or have crossed over into metabolic syndrome (conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes).
For these reasons, many individuals are choosing to bypass the traditional health care system, focusing on sick care to proactively address their health risks and conditions before they move into full-blown disease.
In this article, I’ll address the following four areas in my review:
- Overview of the Decode 2.0 personalized medical program.
- Review grading criteria.
- Pros and cons.
- Who is a good fit?
The Decode 2.0 personalized medical program is a year-long, comprehensive program. It is not an event typical of many other health optimization programs at nationally branded organizations. Tiger’s Decode 2.0 integrates three significant areas of science that I have not been able to find in other programs. Those three areas include:
- Stress Reduction/Sleep Optimization Biofeedback
- Personalized functional medicine
- Alzheimer’s/Dementia/Memory loss risk assessment and preventive treatment.
Each client is assigned a physician, health coach, mindset coach, and clinical manager. This team works with the client to help them move through the testing and implement Tiger’s eight health habits and their personalized treatment plan. Clients come to Tiger’s Seattle area office for their physical exam and brain and cardiovascular imaging. International clients come for three days to complete all testing—U.S.-based clients complete testing in their homes and at a local, national lab chain. The remainder of the program is delivered virtually. Tiger provides an education membership to help clients redesign their lifestyles to support their medical transformation investment. Clients typically see improvement in the early months from stress management and sleep improvement work; then, additional gains come as clinical results come in and lifestyle changes targeted at areas of concern begin to take root.
Approach – Grade A
Tiger utilizes a programmatic, multi-therapy approach based on root cause analysis of testing data. Tiger physicians start with the philosophy of what makes cells thrive and work backward. Comprehensive testing and imaging data provide a mosaic of information for the clinician to connect the dots in finding a unique pathway for each client to return to optimal health. Lifestyle change, implementation of habits, and targeted supplementation as opposed to prescription drugs are the tools of choice.
Science – Grade A
Tiger physicians are trained in board-certified medical schools and trained in the hard sciences, evidence-based methods, and treatments rooted in sound research. One of the Tiger model’s unique aspects is integrating three significant areas of science. Tiger utilizes heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV) and sleeps optimization training (using health data from Oura ring) to establish a foundation for better health. From there, the principles of root-cause functional medicine are applied in the testing, diagnosis, and treatment phase. Finally, based on Dr. Dale Bredesen’s groundbreaking research on Alzheimer’s treatment and prevention, Tiger is a certified PreCode clinic. Tiger is also a clinical partner of Amen Clinics with its innovative SPECT scan technology. Thus, Tiger integrates peak performance technology with preventative medicine principles and brain health optimization.
Personalization – Grade A
Personalization occurs in several dimensions in the Tiger program. First, an advanced genetic test is administered, which is the ultimate personalization. No two individuals have the same genetic markers. Genetic testing enables Tiger clinicians to understand an individual’s weak areas and support those markers to prevent those genes from expressing. Second, based on an extensive health history intake process, Tiger physicians customize testing to personalize each client’s results to fit their health profile. Finally, each client receives a personalized treatment plan implemented uniquely by their health coach.
Convenience – Grade A
Since most clients are individuals with significant responsibilities and time pressure, Tiger’s program provides a highly convenient delivery to minimize the impact on clients’ schedules. Each client is required to visit Tiger’s Seattle clinic once to establish care in person and complete brain imaging and cardiovascular scans. The remainder of the program is delivered virtually. Testing is done at home and in a local lab, minimizing client schedules’ impact.
Investment – Grade B
Tiger’s program is $27,997 for the one-year program. This includes all testing, physician consults, mindset and health coach meetings, education membership, and biofeedback devices. Additional screening is not covered if a client is at high risk for Alzheimer’s, and clinical indications suggest cognitive impairment has already begun. Tiger’s program is not covered by insurance. Due to the cost and lack of insurance as payment, I gave a grade of B due to inaccessibility for some.
Pros and Cons
- Functional, root-cause approach.
- Sound, innovative science.
- Comprehensive, multi-therapy system.
- Client supported by coaches to implement behavior change.
- Highly personalized and matched to client needs.
- Large one-time investment of personal funds.
- Not covered by insurance.
- Requires travel to Tiger clinic in Seattle.
Who is Not a Good Fit?
Poor fit individuals are merely interested in change and learning about their health; they lack a commitment to change. They expect instant results, yet they have over-busy lives causing them not to implement changes and fail to attend Tiger staff coaching or consult sessions. Because they fail to prioritize the process, they take too long to complete tests which delay treatment plan implementation and results. Poor fit individuals then blame Tiger for their lack of results rather than prioritizing their health investment. Poor fit individuals will look at the cost of the Tiger program as a cost, not an investment, and resent the amount of money they need to spend on their health. They fail to make the connection between good health and their ability to live life the way they want to live. Individuals who do not have the financial resources will also not be a good fit for the program today. They would be good candidates for Tiger’s other programs that are a lower investment.
Who is a Good Fit?
The clients that thrive the best in the Tiger system are aware of their health condition, recognize the need to change, and are committed to making the changes necessary to transform their health. Best fit clients understand their current health occurred over decades so they don’t expect instant results. They must believe they can become healthy and be willing to overcome and push through the steps in the Tiger process that can take some time to complete. Good fit clients are curious, want to learn, and are coachable. Best fit clients can apply new disciplines and health habits into their daily routine. Good fit clients prioritize their engagements with Tiger staff members. Good fit individuals have the financial resources to invest in the cash price or make installment payments over three or eleven months. Individuals with an investment mindset will do best, understanding that investing in health provides priceless life-long returns.
Hopefully, by now, you have a good idea of whether the Tiger Decode 2.0 program is a good fit for you to take the next step in your discovery process. For some individuals, now is not a good time. That’s ok; we have had individuals who were not ready become ready later. For some, the financial investment is not feasible. I understand, for many years, I would not have been able to make that kind of investment, even though I needed it! If that is true for you, look at our membership, stress management, and sleep programs that can be purchased at far lower levels of investment.
If you are in a place to invest at the level required, you’ve identified that you are a good fit in all respects, as outlined above. I would encourage you to review these articles and their companion videos below and then consider meeting one of our professionals to learn more about your next steps.
What Does a Personalized Medicine Program Cost?
How to Compare and Choose the Best Provider for Your Health Optimization
Nine Considerations When Choosing a Personalized Medical Program
The Eight Most Common Questions About Tiger Medical
If you are ready to take your next step in the discovery journey, please click on the link below to meet with one of us at Tiger. Your first call with us is about you, to learn where you are in your health journey and if you are ready to take the next step.
I wish you the best in your health research journey!
CEO & Founder
Tiger Medical Institute