The world of personalized health has grown exponentially as patients seek to access their health care records and take control of their health issues. Consequently, the demand for products and services to assist consumers is on the rise.
The Simpa, Inc. app was created to “collect, analyze, detect patterns, and get suggestions based on your nutrition, observations and health records.” Co-founded by Michael McNair and Soren Solari, it is “your intelligent personal health advocate.”
McNair points to his late mother’s breast cancer diagnosis as the inspiration behind his involvement in creating the app.
“After meeting Soren and working on another project together, I found out my mom had breast cancer. It was an emotional roller coaster, but being a researcher and a scientist, I immediately thought about how I could fix the situation; I looked at it from an engineering standpoint. I thought about breast cancer and what it is exactly, and my mind turned to nutrition and the components of food. In doing that, i found out a lot about the dairy industry and things of that nature and really wanted to come back to New York and help my mom,” McNair told TNJ.com in a recent interview.
The way it works is you sign up and Simpa will engage with you via text message. There’s also a platform that nutritionists, dieticians, and trainers can use to log in and get access to check a patient’s medical information. The patient is on their cell phone typing in what she or he has eaten and what time. Simpa then engages with that person. ”It’s what we call machine learning,” says McNair. “You can inform them of the nutrients that are in a particular kind of food and how, for example, a person who has allergies would be affected. There’s a nutritionist that checks in with the patient to discuss food choices, and to record the patient’s weight and whether they are eating regularly and properly. The information is categorized behind the scenes while the patient engages with Simpa.”
McNair says the app will be up and running in the coming months. In the meantime, he and Solari are smoothing out the details.
“Currently, we are solidifying some of the pricing, and we have a larger organization to help us reach the right users. Right now, it’s about having people reach out to us so we can understand how this will all work, especially within the African American community,” he notes. “Do we need to consume more organic food? Do we need more organic markets in our neighborhoods? What’s the complexity around all of us eating better? Should we exercise more, sleep better, etc? What kind of foods are we ingesting for our brains? This is what we want to evaluate. Over the course of time, we will see how the quest to eat better, and the analytics of people’s journeys towards their health fares.”
He continues, “Research shows that $69 billion dollars a year is attributed to decreased productivity, and that is tied to the fact that 116 million Americans have a preventable chronic disease due to bad food consumption.”
As for short to long term goals, McNair mentions impact. “How many people can we impact at scale? We want to effect people not just in North America, but also in African countries,” he says. “I want to be a voice who understands that there are people in certain areas where people can’t get to doctors because we are not living out our full potential if we don’t understand our health, food and habits.”
(People can sign up for the app today on Simpa Inc.’s website.)