Is Apple becoming the Instacart for nutrition?

Dec 20, 2022 12:00am

We have been busy with a flurry of podcasts, meetings, guest lecturing and finishing up our latest publication, all to be shared soon!

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In this week's newsletter: 

Latest research, Mars partners with AI firm on ingredient discovery, new lab on the skin patch, Apple preparing for insta-cart service, Everywell launches supplements, and more!


Yours in health,

Mariette & the rest of the Qina team



Research update 

AI in healthcare startups and special challenges

“Healthcare startups focusing on artificial intelligence face a unique combination of challenges in order to be successful. The recent pandemic has accelerated the adoption of novel and innovative technologies such as A.I. but numerous barriers can limit the progress of entrepreneurs in this space. This commentary looks at several special challenges to consider that impact artificial intelligence healthcare startups.”


Telehealth Technologies in Diabetes Self-management and Education

This review focuses on self-educational telehealth tools available for diabetes self-management. By analyzing the advantages and disadvantages, the review concluded that: In terms of advantages, the telehealth tools increased outreach, flexibility, and engagement with diabetes education, either in combination or as an adjunct to traditional in-person visits. It also improved lifestyle habits, reduced hemoglobin A1C levels, decreased health care costs, and provided better medication adherence. For disadvantages lack of regulation, need for staff training on methodologies used, tech-savvy patients, privacy concerns, lag time with technology updates/glitches, and the need for more long-term research data on efficacy.


Digital Health Technologies for Long-term Self-management of Osteoporosis: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

This review and meta-analysis aimed to validate mHealth apps targeting osteoporosis self-management. The results show that "mHealth-supported interventions resulted in a significant reduction in pain and disability. [Also], the post-treatment effect of the digital intervention was significant for physical function, but nonsignificant for well-being, physical activity, anxiety, fatigue, calcium, vitamin D intake, and trabecular score”.


Micronutrients and food choice: A case of ‘nutritional wisdom’ in humans?

This study provides new evidence that micronutrient composition influences food choice (a form of ‘nutritional wisdom’) and it raises questions about whether nutritional requirements are otherwise met through dietary ‘variety seeking’. This study shows that adults selected one of two pairs of fruits and vegetables in a series of trials (N = 210). Consistent with variety seeking, they preferred ‘varied’ over ‘monotonous’ pairs (same-food pairs were less attractive). This shows a "significant tendency to select pairings that offered: i) greater total micronutrient intake and ii) greater ‘micronutrient complementarity’ (MC), i.e., a broader range of micronutrients". This study exposes the potential for complexity in human dietary decision-making that has not yet been recognized.


KetoCycle mobile app for ketogenic diet: a retrospective study of weight loss and engagement

This retrospective study aimed to determine if users of the mobile application KetoCycle (n=10,269) achieved statistically significant weight loss outcomes. The results have shown that 87.3% of KetoCycle users lost some of their initial weight. Of those, 1645 users (18.3%) lost more than 10% of their initial body weight, 3528 (39.3%) users lost between 5 and 10% of their initial body weight, and 3796 (42.3%) users lost less than 5% of their body weight.


A nutrigenetic tool for precision dietary management of NAFLD deeming insulin resistance markers

This research aimed "to build a predictive model based on genetic and hepatic health information, deeming insulin resistance markers to personalize dietary treatment in overweight/obese subjects with Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)". Participants (n=86) were randomly assigned to two energy-restricted diets: the American Heart Association (AHA) diet and the Fatty Liver in Obesity (FLiO) diet, for a period of 6-month. The models used genetic Risk Score (GRS) for each diet, body composition, liver injury, insulin resistance markers, physical activity, and dietary intake. The results showed that "under energy restriction, both the AHA and FLiO diets induced similar significant improvements on body composition, insulin resistance markers, hepatic health, and dietary and lifestyle outcomes." But FLI model personalizes the most suitable diet for most participants (72%).


Where am I speaking next?

This event is in its second year and brings together industry, academia, entrepreneurs and innovators to solve the future of future of food.

I will be delivering a session on Personalised nutrition and participate as part of the Blendhub panel discussion

For more information on the event, and to claim your discount click here.


Technology News

Mars partners with AI firm on ingredient discovery project

Mars Inc. has announced a partnership with PIPA, an AI company, to speed the discovery of new plant-based ingredients for human and animal food, and dietary supplements. PIPA's proprietary LEAP artificial intelligence platform brings data from more than 22 million published papers, more than 60 knowledge bases, semantic networks, and cross-references against 16,000 diseases and/ or conditions. Furthermore, the applications of PIPA's platform go beyond botanical ingredients. The company claims it can be used to enhance flavor prediction, customize fermentation production processes and improve personalized nutrition recommendations.



Compact Wearable “Lab on the Skin” Continuously Monitors Glucose, Alcohol, and Lactate

"Imagine being able to measure your blood sugar levels, know if you’ve had too much alcohol to drink, and track your muscle fatigue during a workout, all in one small device worn on your skin. Engineers at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) have developed a prototype of such a wearable that can continuously monitor several health stats—glucose, alcohol, and lactate levels—simultaneously in real-time."


Gurman: Apple has explored ‘Instacart-like service’ with Health app integration

Instacart is a service that offers grocery delivery and pickup services. Using Instacart, the customers' can place orders from a variety of retailers and get the orders delivered immediately or pick up the orders from a local store. Through data from a Blommerang report, seems that Apple is preparing some similar Instacart-service, but connected with the Apple Health app for deeper nutrition tracking.

Related Articles:

PNU 13.2022: InsideTracker x Apple partnership

PNU 28.2021: Apple looks to digital biomarkers for features detecting depression, cognitive decline

PNU 11.2021: Apple Watch is Effective in Monitoring Patients with Cardiovascular Diseases, According to Stanford Study


Japan clears CureApp's DTx app for hypertension

“CureApp's latest DTx app assists patients in maintaining lifestyle improvements as part of their treatment for hypertension. It automatically delivers personalized guidance to users, including advice on diet, exercise, and sleep, which are captured via blood pressure monitoring, as well as lifestyle habit logs and notifications about behavioral changes. Last year, CureApp published the findings of its clinical trial for the hypertension DTx app. Its study found that the app brought down the risk of developing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases by 10.7%. Using the app could also reduce morning home systolic BP for users by 10 mmHg. Now, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare has awarded the Japanese medtech startup CureApp a medical device regulatory approval for its digital therapeutic app for hypertension”. This is the world’s first medical device regulatory approval of a digital therapeutic app for hypertension.


Withings launches its remote patient monitoring program—here’s why it will succeed

Withings is a wearable based-company that offers medical-grade wearables already in use in clinical environments. Now, they have announced their new remote patient monitoring (RPM) program: the Withings RPM, which connects devices (smart scales, watches, thermometers, and blood pressure cuffs) to monitor health metrics like heart rate, blood pressure, and sleep patterns.

Related Articles:

PNU 05.2022: Withings building its connected health portfolio with 8fit acquisition


Everlywell Expands its Nutritional Health Suite by Launching Vitamins and Supplements

"Everlywell, a leading digital healthcare company that provides convenient, affordable, and personalized support for long-term health, today announced the expansion of its comprehensive health and wellness services with the launch of a new offering: vitamins and supplements formulated with high-quality, evidence-backed ingredients. Everlywell’s existing portfolio of nutritional health products includes at-home collection tests paired with virtual care that helps people navigate potential vitamin deficiencies, food-related symptoms, and metabolic hormone imbalances, with additional tests expected to launch this year. Now through Everlywell, individuals can also access vitamins and supplements that are third-party tested, sourced from GMP-certified facilities, and formulated with high-quality, evidence-backed ingredients".


We frequently get asked whether we offer our platform and content on a monthly subscription basis. We did not, but we are excited to announce that this option will be available shortly. Keep your eyes peeled for news and updates!


Food & Consumer Trends

Women Are Calling Out ‘Medical Gaslighting’

“Medical gaslighting” is a term used for patients that felt that their symptoms were inappropriately dismissed as minor or primarily psychological by doctors. This article points to concerning topics about medical treatment, especially on women and black women. "Research suggests that diagnostic errors occur in up to one out of every seven encounters between a doctor and patient and that most of these mistakes are driven by the physician’s lack of knowledge. Women are more likely to be misdiagnosed than men in a variety of situations. Studies have shown that compared with men, women face longer waits to be diagnosed with cancer and heart disease, are treated less aggressively for traumatic brain injury, and are less likely to be offered pain medications. People of colour often receive poorer quality care, too; and doctors are more likely to describe Black patients as uncooperative or non-compliant, which research suggests can affect treatment quality. (...) Women say doctors frequently blame their health problems on their mental health, weight, or a lack of self-care, which can delay effective treatment".




WHO warns EU obesity at “epidemic proportions” that “knows no borders”

Recent data from the WHO shows that obesity continues to emerge worldwide. 59% of European adults are overweight or obese (63% among males and 54% among females). 1 in 3 European children is overweight or obese. 1.2 million deaths in the WHO European Region (1 in 8) are because of overweight or obesity. The highest levels of both overweight and obesity are found in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe. Turkey, Malta, Israel, and the UK are the countries (in this order) with more overweight people. Worldwide obesity prevalence in the Region Americas has the worst rates. Obesity, which is a cause of 13 different types of cancer, is the fourth risk factor for death after high blood pressure, dietary risks, and tobacco. In Europe, it is estimated to be directly responsible for at least 200,000 new cancer cases per year. In Europe and Central Asia, no single country will meet the WHO Global noncommunicable diseases (NCD) target of halting the rise of obesity (by 2025). So what can governments do to combat this epidemic?




New calorie labelling regulations in England

A new law, obesity-policy related, was launched on April, 6 in England. Restaurants, cafes, and takeaways in England have now to provide calorie information on menus and food displays, including those online. The legislation applies only to businesses with over 250 employees, with exemptions for charities, hospitals, care homes, and temporary menu items.


Metabolomics Services Market by Area of Application, Type of Metabolomics Service Offered, Type of Metabolome Profiling Technique Used, Type of End User and Key Geographies : Industry Trends and Global Forecasts, 2022-2035

This report features an extensive study of the current market landscape and future potential of the metabolomics services market. The study features an in-depth analysis, highlighting the capabilities of various stakeholders engaged in providing metabolomics services.


Upcoming Events


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

2022 KoSFoST International Symposium and Annual Meeting

New Era in Food Science and Biotechnology - Bexco, Busan, Korea July 6-8, 2022

NutraEvent, Nantes, France, October 4th & 5th 2022 

Personalized nutrition summit - ANA, San Diego 26-29 October


Qina is the hub for data and insights in Personalised nutrition. Qina offers the world´s first comprehensive and curated database of Personalised nutrition companies in the industry. Qina has a library of expert content and offers consultancy services for innovation projects.