Heali’s food-as-medicine platform to improve nutrition, food access for consumers, businesses

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Image source; Getty/Hinterhaus Productions
Image source; Getty/Hinterhaus Productions

Related tags food as medicine Nutrition chronic disease AI Unmetered Unmetered

With $3M in seed funding from Astanor Ventures, Heali plans to expand its personalized nutrition services for consumers and patients with chronic illnesses through its database of evidence-based nutrition research, while developing a larger presence with healthcare providers and health systems.

As the food as medicine movement continues shaping nutrition and food access for Americans living with chronic conditions, Heali​ serves as a platform to support medical nutrition therapy for both consumers and businesses, Kyle Dardashti, founder & CEO, Heali, explained to FoodNavigator-USA.

The platform, Heali Intel, includes millions of food products and recipes which are analyzed by AI and peer-reviewed medical findings to create personalized dietary recommendations that address over 200 chronic conditions, including diabetes, allergies, autoimmune issues and gastrointestinal problems. As the company evolves, Heali intends to add meal delivery options directly from the app and invest in future partnerships.

Along with its seed funding, the nutrition tech company aligned its practices with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's health standards and guidelines (CDC), earning recognition from the agency. While the service is still in beta, Heali intends to offer one-on-one CDC-recognized health coaching.

Streamlining food-as-medicine access

Through the app, users can choose their specific health conditions and connect to nutrition plans that can help mitigate or manage those conditions based on a database of peer-reviewed research.

“[Heali] leverages clinical grade-AI to give customized and evidence-based nutrition plans. …  Users are able to easily learn which foods work for their nutritional goals, which do not, and the reasons why,” Dardashti explained.

For businesses, Heali Intel offers a standalone SaaS solution, providing infrastructure for food service providers, manufacturers and meal delivery services to transition into food-as-medicine establishments. The platform analyzes nutrition information to verify more than 350 regulated claims, including the Nutrition Facts panel, ingredient declaration, allergen claims, nutrient content claims, FDA authorized health claims, structure function claims, EU claims, medically tailored foods and Medicaid / Medicare requirements.

Businesses and consumers have access to Heali Intel’s pre-loaded data, which includes over 100,000 ingredients and two million food products, and users can also add their own ingredients.

“Each claim is substantiated with nutrition literature to help validate claims for dietitians and regulatory [compliance] to bring products to market faster,” he said.

Clinical trial shows improved health for patients using Heali

IBS patients who followed a low FODMAP diet participated in Heali's beta testing phase, reporting an overall improvement in their health.

“Our independently conducted and randomized control trial results demonstrated that patients using Heali had improved quality of life by 2.6 times and their symptoms improved 2 times greater than those not using Heali,” Dardashti elaborated.

The app has garnered praise from healthcare partners like Boston Heart Diagnostics, highlighting the potential to improve patient care through dietary protocols.

“By partnering with Heali, we’ve been able to evolve our technology and grant patients the ability to adhere to the personalized dietary protocols recommended … We are seeing significant enthusiasm on the part of the patients that are utilizing Heali,” said Dr. Ernest Schaefer, co-founder, CMO and lab director at Boston Heart Diagnostics.

[Editor's note: Interested in learning more about where the food as medicine movement is headed? Check out FoodNavigator-USA's recent Futureproofing the Food System virtual summit, during which the second day was dedicated to food as medicine. The sessions are available on demand and registration is free and easy​.]

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