As the food-as-medicine movement continues to shape nutrition and access to food for Americans living with chronic disease, Heali serves as a platform to support medical nutrition therapy for both consumers and businesses, Kyle Dardashchi, Founder and CEO of Heali, explained to FoodNavigator-USA.
The platform, Heali Intel, includes millions of food products and recipes that 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 grows, Heali intends to add food delivery options directly from the app and invest in future partnerships.
Along with its seed funding, the food tech company brought its practices into compliance with the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) health standards and guidelines, earning recognition from the agency. While the service is still in beta, Heali intends to offer one-on-one health coaching recognized by the CDC.
Streamlining access to food as medicine
Through the app, users can select their specific health conditions and be connected to nutritional plans that can help mitigate or manage those conditions based on a database of peer-reviewed research.
“[Heali] uses clinical-grade AI to deliver personalized and evidence-based nutrition plans. … Consumers are able to easily learn which foods work for their nutritional goals and which do not, and why,” explained Dardashti.
For businesses, Heali Intel offers a stand-alone SaaS solution providing the infrastructure for food service providers, manufacturers and food delivery services to transition to food-as-medicine. The platform analyzes nutrition information to verify more than 350 regulated claims, including the Nutrition Facts Panel, Ingredient Statement, Allergen Claims, Nutrient Content Claims, FDA Approved Health Claims, Structure Function Claims, EU, medically appropriate foods and Medicaid / Medicare requirements.
Businesses and consumers can access Heali Intel’s preloaded data, which includes over 100,000 ingredients and two million food products, and consumers can also add their own ingredients.
“Each claim is backed up with nutrition literature to help validate the claims for nutritionists and regulatory [compliance] to get products to market faster,” he said.
Clinical trial shows improved health of patients using Heali
IBS patients who followed a low-FODMAP diet participated in the beta testing phase of Heali, reporting an overall improvement in their health.
“The results of our independently conducted and randomized control trials showed that patients using Heali improved their quality of life by 2.6 times and their symptoms improved 2 times more than those who did not use Heali,” explained Dardashti.
The app has received praise from healthcare partners such as Boston Heart Diagnostics, highlighting the potential to improve patient care through dietary protocols.
“By partnering with Heali, we’ve been able to advance our technology and give patients the ability to follow recommended personalized dietary protocols…We’re seeing significant enthusiasm from patients using Heali,” said Dr. Ernest Schaefer, co-founder , CMO and laboratory 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.]