Heali, a Los Angeles-based startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create more personalized nutrition advice and meal planning for people, announced today the beta release of its mobile app.
The Heali app helps people adhere to their choice of 30 different diets (Vegan, Low FODMAP, Paleo, etc.) through recipes as well as grocery shopping and restaurant meal selection guidance.
Heali uses a number of features to help people with their nutritional choices. It has optical character recognition (OCR) so a user can take a photo of a menu description or a product’s nutritional label and the app will understand what ingredients are in that item. There’s a barcode scanner for use on products at the grocery store. Heali also has a meal planner, which analyzes the nutritional makeup of hundreds of thousands of recipes, products and meals to provide its nutritional guidance.
But the Heali app isn’t just for people wanting to eat fewer carbs. I spoke with Heali Founder and CEO Kyle Dardashti last month, who explained that his app can also provide guidance for people with certain medical conditions. For example, if a user has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), they can use the app when grocery shopping to see if products contain certain emulsifiers that exacerbate their condition.
Heali is part of the personalized nutrition/food-as-medicine movement, and there is certainly no shortage of players in that space. There are other mobile apps like Yes Health and Foodvisor, hardware devices like the Mixfit, and meal delivery services like Kaigo. All of these are looking to help you eat healthier.
When asked what separates Heali from all the other competitors in the space, Dardashti told me, “Others have taken 10 diets or so, they have their subset of recipes in their app. They’ve tagged those few hundred recipes for how it adheres to those 10 diets.” He added that Heali has “built the engine that can do it all programmatically. Now it’s not just one of 10 tags. It has been done programmatically with AI.”
This, according to Dardashti, makes Heali, the most personalized dietary engine on the market.
The proof, as always, will be in the (diet-approved) pudding. The Heali app is free on both iOS and Android, and those interested can join the waitlist. Beta users will be admitted in cohorts.