Investment in digital health startups and innovative apps

Feb 02, 2022 2:26pm

In this week's newsletter: 
Latest research, Monteloeder new app, Elysium Health launch targeted metabolic aging, Rabobank invest in Ancora health, ShaeWellness new potential for gyms, 3 research centres where NIH study is funding and plenty more.

Yours in health,

CEO & Founder of Qina


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Research update

The GDPR and genomic data

 "The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and genomic data report provides a detailed legal analysis of the many ways in which the GDPR impacts genomic healthcare and research, highlights areas for urgent attention, and makes recommendations for the genomics community, regulators, and policymakers to maintain the flow of genomic data for healthcare and scientific research", in the UK.


Estimating the potential public health impact of fibre enrichment: a UK modelling study

This study conducted by Tate & Lyle and Creme Global gives a good overview of the potential public health benefits of reformulating food products by using a fibre enrichment of everyday UK foods (including baked goods, dairy products, soups, smoothies, and dressings). The results show "The fibre enrichment intervention showed a mean fibre intake in the UK of 19.9 g/day, signifying a 2.2 g/day increase from baseline. Modelling suggested that 5.9% of subjects could achieve a weight reduction, 72.2% a reduction in cardiovascular risk, and 71.7% a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes risk with fibre fortification".


Diet and Gut Microbiome and the “Chicken or Egg” Problem

“Quantity and quality of the intestinal and fecal microbiome vary considerably between individuals and are dependent on a very large number of intrinsic and environmental factors. Currently, only around 15% of the variance in microbiome diversity can be explained by these factors. Although diet and individual food items have effects, other individual parameters such as gender, age, body mass index (BMI), but also plasma lipids and blood pressure reveal stronger associations with microbiome diversity…This review provides scientific arguments for a more comprehensive assessment of the individual's intestinal phenotype in microbiome studies to resolve the “chicken or egg” problem in these observational studies.” 


Using Machine Learning to Predict Obesity Based on Genome-Wide and Epigenome-Wide Gene-Gene and Gene-Diet Interactions

This study aimed to develop a model that predicts an individual's risk of obesity through genetic, epigenetic, environmental, and dietary factors. Through machine learning (ML) algorithms, researchers "identified 213 SNPs, 530 DNA methylation sites (DMSs), and 49 dietary and lifestyle factors as significant predictors of obesity. (...) Top predictors of the best-fit model were 21 SNPs, 230 DMSs in genes such as CPT1A, ABCG1, SLC7A11, RNF145, and SREBF1, and 26 dietary factors, including processed meat, diet soda, French fries, high-fat dairy, artificial sweeteners, alcohol intake, and specific nutrients and food components, such as calcium and flavonols".



Technology News


A Noom video campaign on Twitter shows a young man finishing every last bit of food on his plate, only to learn from Noom that he was conditioned to finish his plate since childhood. “When it comes to losing weight, it’s psychological,” the voiceover says. The fact that it only centers on the psychological behavior is shocking users and triggered a wave of negative comments on Twitter by Noom ex-users.

Related Articles:

PNU 30.2021 - Weight loss company Noom launches behavioral health product

PNU 26.2021 - Usefulness of Smartphone Apps for Improving Nutritional Status of Pancreatic Cancer Patients: Randomized Controlled Trial


Monteloeder unveils white label tailored nutrition app amid industry push toward tech

Monteloeder is launching a new nutrition app "Metabolaid". In conjugation with Metabolaid nutritional supplement (a hibiscus and lemon verbena extracts-based formula), targeting weight loss and cardiovascular health. The app, is based on three premises: adherence, behavioral change, and information about the app. There are reminders to take the supplement, eat healthy, behavior changes, healthy habits, and exercise.


Elysium Health™ Announces the Launch of SIGNAL™ for Metabolic Aging

Elysium Health, Inc.™, has "announced the launch of SIGNAL™, a novel combination of the most direct NAD+ precursor, NMN, and potent SIRT3 activators to promote a healthy metabolism by replenishing critical metabolic factors lost with age and activating processes to support healthy mitochondrial function".

Dutch banking giant Rabobank banks on making healthcare futureproof; invests €3M in Ancora Health

“Dutch banking giant Rabobank, on Tuesday, announced that it is investing €3M in digital health startup Ancora Health. According to Rabobank, with this investment, it aims to further expand its focus on preventive health. With this round of investment, Ancora’s total start-up capital has reached €9M.”



ShaeWellness is an Australian-based epigenetic data-tracking platform and app for corporate health and wellness. Developed by medical professionals, geneticists, allied health professionals, and health scientists, now has expanded to gyms. Shae technology can precisely quantify the unique biological makeup of an individual and provide support across nutrition, exercise, mindset, motivation, and environmental factors influencing health.

All of Us Research Program - NIH Precision nutrition study

Last week NIH announced awards for 14 centers and clinics in an amount of $170 million for the precision nutrition study All of Us Research Program

The study aims to involve 10,000 participants and seeks to develop algorithms that predict individual responses to foods and dietary patterns.


This week, already 3 research centers have been announced:


Nutrition and Genetics: from fundamentals to application in personalised nutrition

The St Mary’s University Nutrition and Genetics research group has developed a short course designed to support nutritionists, dietitians on the topic of Nutrition and Genetics. This online course will take on Friday 18th March.

Rabobank Announces New, Dynamic Structure for FoodBytes! Innovation Platform in 2022

Starting this year, FoodBytes!, Rabobank's discovery platform will expand to a continuous scouting model, with fifteen startups selected every quarter. Through its innovation platform, FoodBytes! vets startups with sustainable solutions to improve the global food system and connects them with action-oriented companies and investors. The applications are open through February 28, and the first series is focused on consumer food and agriculture sustainability topics.


Upcoming Events:

 Food Innovation and Investment Summit, Kisaco Research, San Francisco, California, 18-19 May 2022


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