by Mory Bahar
The problem we solve: General Problem: Patients and consumers need dietary and lifestyle guidance to manage or prevent chronic illnesses, at their convenience, while at home, grocery shopping, on the road or while eating out. They need guidance that takes into account their multiple health issues, allergies, dietary preferences and medications. They need specific and actionable guidance, e.g., Is asparagus good for me? or Which specific seeds and nuts are best/most helpful for my health profile? Specific Problem: There are no clinical studies, NIH funded projects, or university research that can tell us if a given food (e.g., grilled octopus) is helpful or harmful to a specific illness (e.g., pancreatic cancer). And it is very unlikely that there will ever be such a study, because no one can get a patent for octopus!
About our solution: We will deliver a mobile app that captures an individual's MULTIPLE health issues and concerns, and offers science-backed fully-automated guidance on what is helpful and what is harmful to their unique health profile. We currently maintain research data for 1,000+ common foods and 300+ illnesses and health issues. We also provide an industry standard API to enable various organizations to access our extensive knowledgebase of food-disease interaction data, and enhance their existing capabilities or technology platform. We accomplish this by solving the Specific Problem mentioned above. How? There are thousands of scientific studies on the relationship between various nutrients and various illnesses. There are also many sources available on the nutrient content of various food items. Our AI-based algorithms and software capture, analyze and summarize all such research and data to quantify helpfulness/harmfulness of every food item as it relates to every illness in our knowledgebase.Progress to date:
We already have an AI-based technology that captures, aggregates, analyzes and summarizes available science on disease-nutrient, disease-food, nutrient-nutrient, disease-alternative therapy, food-drug ... interactions. We currently have 40+ mobile apps each focused on ONE chronic illness and its common comorbidities. The current apps can handle up to two conditions, but our new project will handle up to five (or more) conditions selected by the patient. The new project allows us to provide guidance that is totally individualized to the patient's situation, and ties to the exact combination of conditions selected by the patient.
We also have Release 1.0 of our industry standard API available now.
Creator: Mory Bahar
Education: University of Illinois (Urbana)
Bio: Software Industry executive & serial entrepreneur. Two prior companies went public. Holder of Patent: Personalized Nutrition Advisor. Author: Object Technology Made Simple (published in US and Japan).
Advanced Degree(s): M.S. Computer Science
Medical Director, M.D.
Biography: Medical Director, Lahey Clinic, Beverly, MA. Faculty of Tufts University. Author: Best of All Worlds: A Family Doctor's Path to Integrative Medicine. Author: Emotional Intelligence in a Complex World.
Title: Medical Director
Advanced Degree(s): M.D.
Chief Scientific Advisor, PhD, Nutrition. Tufts University
Biography: Faculty of Johns Hopkins University. Entrepreneur and investor. Credentialed LDN provider.
Title: Chief Scientific Advisor
Advanced Degree(s): PhD, Nutrition. Tufts University
Proper diet and lifestyle choices can help patients in preventing, managing, slowing down the progress, and in some cases reversing the symptoms and illnesses they might be suffering from. Our app will help patients make better food and lifestyle choices, based on their unique personal health profile. Our capabilities are available to the patients worldwide, 24-7, at home, office, while shopping at grocery stores or dining at restaurants. Imagine your own Personal Nutrition Advisor (a fully automated e-dietitian).
• Is this food good for me? This feature answers the common question if a food of their choice is helpful or harmful to the patient’s personal situation. And it does so in an easy to understand and colorful graphic form.
• Food Suggestions. The best food choices within a food group, based on the individual’s profile. An extremely valuable tool when at restaurants or when grocery shopping. There are 18 food groups to choose from including a collection of healthy handpicked recipes.
• Actionable information on which food items are good, what is bad, and what is neutral for the patient. We don't just point patient’s to a food group. We single out specific food items, and provide an ordered list of helpful and harmful foods within each food group.
• In addition, one of our existing customers/partners offers access to over 5 million recipes. Using our technology the recipes are evaluated as helpful or harmful for every illness we maintain in our system. Their service is separately priced and offered to our customers.
• Suggestions on appropriate life style choices, alternative therapies and herbal remedies, when such options are promising and available.
A very successful and highly respected urologist friend of mine (Mass General Hospital, Harvard Professor) once told me that when his patients ask for dietary guidance, he tells them to follow a heart-healthy diet! He acknowledged that this advice is woefully inadequate. As we all know, not all kidney stones, or CKD conditions are alike. What is OK for one patient may be terrible for another.
While physicians and clinics recognize the effectiveness of dietary therapy, they often lack the training and expertise to make precise recommendations for their patients. Physicians do not have dietitians on staff, and clinics tend to cut the less profitable in-house dietitians in favor of the much more profitable MRI equipment! Most dietitians are expert in common disorders like obesity, diabetes and hypertension, but are less comfortable managing most of the other chronic disease states. Both physicians and dietitians can benefit from patient-friendly tools and technologies that can keep up with the vast amount of related science, nutrient-disease, nutrient-nutrient, food-disease and food-medication interactions.
In summary, for physicians, we can arm them with a Personal Nutrition Advisor (a fully automated e-dietitian) that they can recommend and use as part of their chronic care management services separately billable on monthly basis. For dietitians we can offer them a tool that they can use in addressing more complex situations, formulating their guidance, preparing their recommended meal plans, and answering food-specific questions. For functional medicine and integrative health professionals, we can enable and automate their conviction to Food is Medicine principle.
Most telehealth organization, to-date, have focused on care for acute conditions. We can help them beef up their platform and expand their services into care for chronic conditions using our API or private-branded version of our new app.
Our capabilities can help hospitals in two important areas: menu development for patients, and augmenting discharge papers with patient-friendly clear and useful dietary guidance. The main benefits to the hospitals can be reduced readmission rates, better outcomes and fewer complications for patients before and after the release from the hospital.
While hospitals and their staff recognize the importance of nutrition and effectiveness of dietary therapy, they are often not equipped to pay adequate attention to it. The hospital menu is rarely customized based on the specific hospital sections/floors; let alone patient’s individual health profile. High-fat salty slice of pizza and sugar-loaded cookies appear on the same menu and offered to the heart disease and diabetic patients alike! While the staff and the kitchen have very good intentions, facts are that they don’t know and do not have the tools that advise them on which specific foods are harmful to an individual patient, or can have a dangerous interaction with a medication taken by the patient, or interfere with absorption of an important helpful nutrient, etc. Spinach is a great vegetable but not for many kidney stone patient. Banana is a great fruit but not for the CKD patient who needs to reduce potassium intake.
Another great but missed opportunity for a hospital is the discharge papers that are handed to the patients upon their release. The papers often focus on the hospital internal red tape and medication related topics. With the right tools, they can be augmented with specific dietary recommendations that highlight food choices that would be helpful to the patient’s health and recovery, and those that would be harmful and detrimental to the same.
Using our industry standard API, or a private-branded version of our new mobile app, we can continue to help various Health Tech companies, corporate wellness organizations and payers.
Growing number of Health Tech companies offer a combination of personal coaching and technology-based tools focused on one or two common disorders, in particular, obesity and diabetes. We can help them expand their services to address other chronic illnesses.
Corporate wellness organizations focus on education and coaching services offered to employees of their corporate clients. Their focus is often on general healthy eating, fitness and weight management. We can help them expand their services and tools in support of other common health concerns and risks, offering individualized guidance to employees, or improve scalability & profitability of their services through increased automation. Through our current partnerships we can also significantly increase the number of healthy recipes that their users can choose.
Growing number of payers have partnered with health tech companies to focus on prevention and healthy eating, with emphasis on obesity and diabetes. We can help payers and their partners to offer a much more comprehensive approach to prevention and management of chronic illnesses for all their members. Just one less doctor visit, one less prescription drug, one less ER visit or one less hospital readmission, per 100 members per year represents a huge ROI for the payers while improving care for their members.
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