Food as Medicine Platform Foodsmart Expands Reach to 7.4 Million Patients as it Reels in $10M in Fresh Funding

Today, food as medicine and telehealth startup Foodsmart announced an expansion of its “Foodscripts” program and a new round of funding. The company says it will reach up to 7.4 million patients across three major healthcare systems: Advocate Health, Memorial Hermann Health System, Intermountain Health. These healthcare systems, alongside the American College of Cardiology and Glen Tullman’s 62 Ventures, have invested $10 million as part of an expanded Series C investment (now up to $40M) as part of the expansion.

The company is part of the food-as-medicine movement, which encourages healthier eating to create a healthier life overall.  As chronic diseases continue to be a predominant health issue in the United States, there have been calls for our health system to provide better nutritional guidance to patients. The growth in food-as-medicine has come alongside growing usage by at-risk patients of GLP-1 drugs as a reasonably fast way to manage their weight. However, GLP-1 drugs are expensive and often require daily self-administered injections. Foodsmart and other food-as-medicine proponents see “food care” as a better, longer-term, and less costly solution, as well as one that can be paired with initial “jump starter” usage of GLP-1 drugs to get quicker and sustained outcomes.

In an email to The Spoon, Foodsmart outlined the different components of the program expansion:

  1. Extended Reach: The program will be extended to 7.4 million patients across the funding healthcare systems, which the company says represents a substantial increase in its impact and potential to improve health outcomes.
  2. Enhanced Funding: The additional $10 million funding brings the total Series C investment to $40 million.
  3. Strategic Partnerships: Collaborations with healthcare systems and organizations, which Foodsmart says emphasize the importance of integrating nutrition into healthcare and highlight Foodscripts’ potential to transform patient care.
  4. EHR Integration: Foodsmart has developed an Electronic Health Record (EHR) integration, which they say will enable providers to enter and track Foodscripts more easily for insurance purposes.
  5. Upskilling Providers: Foodsmart will start emphasizing upskilling healthcare providers. This involves educating them on the latest scientific data and best practices for addressing the nutritional needs of patients with various chronic diseases.

The growth in offerings within the formalized healthcare community around nutrition guidance comes at a time of increased attention among technology platform providers around personalized nutrition and metabolic health management. Startups like January.AI are providing AI-powered solutions that help those at risk of metabolic disease ways to manage their caloric intake and the impact on their blood glucose levels without having to use a continuous glucose monitor. Other startups like Supergut are tapping into the growing awareness of metabolic health – largely driven by rising awareness of the impact of GLP-1 drugs – by providing over-the-counter supplement approaches that claim to have some of the same benefits as these medications.

Investment in this space has been a countervailing trend to slowing interest among venture investors in plant-based food and other better-for-you offerings, which has been victimized in part by a broader venture slowdown as well as slower-than-expected growth of some of the high-profile, high-fliers in the space, such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.

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