Navigating the complexities of health management becomes simpler with the emergence of Heali, a cutting-edge startup launching out of stealth with a mission to provide a personalized platform that eliminates the guesswork for individuals aiming to treat and manage health conditions through evidence-based nutrition protocols.
The brainchild of co-founder and CEO Kyle Dardashti, Heali has addressed the personal challenges he faced by those seeking to embark on a nutrition journey. Dardashti, one in two Americans grappling with a chronic condition, shares a personal connection to the struggle. Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 15, Dardashti explored various pharmaceutical solutions before discovering the potential of nutritional coaching.
Dardashti revealed that he’s been battling Crohn’s disease since he was 15 years old, and had tried all sorts of different types of solutions in the pharmaceutical area. However, he finally came to the conclusion that there’s got to be some alternative ways of doing this.
Motivated by his own transformative experience, Dardashti delved into the realm of medical nutrition therapy, a method of treating and managing diseases through distinct nutrition protocols. However, he found existing protocols challenging, requiring individuals to essentially become food scientists to discern effective ingredients.
Acknowledging that this had stripped the enjoyment out of the eating, Dardashti went on to state that what was clear to him was that Heali can now use technology to do all of the analyses so people don’t have to go through that struggle too. Especially now that there are so many fad diets out there that aren’t even research-backed, yet so many clinically-backed diets that patients don’t know about either. The Heali team believes that it shouldn’t take patients decades to find out that food is actually an option.
The personalized nutrition and supplements market, valued at $43 billion, is competitive, with various apps like Wellory, Lifesum, and Zoe vying for attention. Heali distinguishes itself with its proprietary dietitian-led, scientifically backed comprehensive nutritional guidance and personalized meal planning. The app’s scanning feature utilizes artificial intelligence, enabling users to scan restaurant menus and receive recommendations on safe meal options.
While Heali offers familiar features like meal planning, tracking, in-app grocery store scanning, recipes, and recommendations, its emphasis on scientific literature-backed guidance sets it apart. The platform accommodates specific medical conditions, health and wellness goals, and dietary preferences, offering over 30 cuisine options sorted by cultural needs. Notably, it received recognition from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control following in-market testing and clinical trials.
During its beta period, Heali demonstrated significant impact, particularly in a clinical trial involving patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Participants using Heali experienced 2.6 times the improvement in their quality of life compared to those who did not.
Heali currently operates via healthcare partnerships, such as the one with Boston Heart Diagnostics, and is available as a standalone software-as-a-service option called Heali Intel for food businesses seeking to offer food-as-medicine offerings. This up & coming HealthTech startup currently has over 10,000 users, while recently announcing raising $3 million in seed funding which as led by Astanor Ventures. Dardashti has stated that his plans are to utilize the capital infusion to advance product development, acquire partnerships, and expand the commercialization model for medically tailored meal suggestions.
Looking ahead, Heali envisions offering one-on-one health coaching and expanding its relationship with Instacart for custom meal kit delivery options. Dardashti’s ultimate goal is to make a significant impact for so many people who don’t know that a better diet is a viable option, and they hope that they can use Heali to make a world where food isn’t the last option, but it is the first option to a better, healthier life.