We all know that sticking to diets is really hard work — especially when you’re stuck at home and the snack cabinet is never far from reach.
Yes Health is a digital health platform meant to help people reach their weight loss or diabetes prevention and management goals. Today, the startup announced that it had netted $6 million in Series A funding led by Khosla Ventures (hat tip to Techcrunch).
Yes Health’s mobile platform is meant to help people do one of two things: lose weight, or prevent diabetes. New users select one pathway and answer a short questionnaire about what sort of coaching you prefer (cheerleader/straightforward), your top goals, and the biggest challenges you struggle with to reach those goals. The system then creates an individualized health plan and schedule which outlines when you should eat meals, exercise, and sleep, and tracks your progress via photos and a daily weigh in.
Yes Health costs $49/month for the one year diabetes program (which comes with a Fitbit and digital scale), or $69 for coaching only. The four-month weight loss program costs $49/month (and includes a Fitbit). Yes Health sells both directly to consumers and is included in some employee health plans.
The real value add of the app seems to be the ease with which the personalized coaching is woven into the system. Users can take a picture of their meals, which Yes Health shares with nutritionists for assessment — no need to manually enter every ingredient in their salad or soup. Users also get access to personalized coaching for their workouts, including feedback when they complete certain exercises.
Yes Health isn’t the only app out there to offer nutrition coaching via photo. Bite.ai is a food journal that automatically breaks down the nutrition info of your meals based on photos, and in France, Foodvisor does much of the same thing. But neither service offers the same level of exercise recommendations and coaching that Yes Health does.
True, the messages all come from computers, not actual humans, so the interaction isn’t as powerful as it would be with an in-person coach. But an in-person coach is going to cost a lot more than $69 per month — plus, we’re not allowed to see people in person anymore.
For that reason, I think COVID-19 will present some appealing growth opportunities for online healthy lifestyle services like Yes Health. Since we can’t go to gyms or restaurants, we have to create our own exercise and dining plans. Tools like Yes Health could help folks to create a structured plan for nutrition and exercise to stay on course during social distancing. And that’s especially critical at a time when health is on the top of mind for all of us.