Conner Drew | Elijah Parker | Sally Hall
Over the past number of months, our team has developed bitesized, a mobile app that enables dietitians to support clients remotely.
Why it matters
Millions of people nationwide suffer from debilitating chronic diseases such as heart disease (30 million), diabetes (27 million), and kidney disease (31 million). The good news? All these diseases can be alleviated or prevented with a healthy diet.
However, diet change can be exceedingly difficult for many reasons including time, price, culture, and ingrained habits. A dietitian can provide invaluable emotional support and practical guidance towards diet change. This support is difficult to maintain considering dietitians only meet with clients once every 1-3 months.
While dietitians gather a general assessment of a client’s diet at each appointment — asking what they ate within the past 24 hours — they’re often unable to get a comprehensive understanding of the client’s daily habits. Therefore dietitians can only provide general tips rather than specific actionable recommendations.
Bitesized allows dietitians to gain a deeper grasp of their clients’ daily food habits, and provide personal, culturally-relevant, and specific recommendations.
How it works
- The client and dietitian set goals together, based off the client’s needs.
- The client uploads photos of his food intake.
- The dietitian comments on photos and makes recommendations based on set goals.
Key features include the “bite” journal, chat, and recommendations.
The “bite” journal
The client will upload photos of his meals for the dietitian’s comments.
The system facilitates conversation between the dietitian and the client, allowing the client to ask questions, and the dietitian to make recommendations for diet changes.
The dietitian’s recommendations will show up on the user’s home screen, to serve as a prompt every time the client opens the app.
The core value of bitesized is to provide a path of incremental change towards a healthier diet by:
Enabling a client’s dietitian to provide regular support from afar. Bite-sized allows dietitians to provide clients with support between visits, providing actionable suggestions. This reminds clients that they are not alone, and that they have a partner in their health journey.
Enabling a client’s dietitian to provide specific dietary suggestions. Bite-sized allows the dietitian to comment directly on the client’s grocery receipt and meals to give clear, specific recommendations. This feature removes the nutritional guesswork and teaches the client why he should eat one item over the other.
Enabling a dietitian to gain a deeper understanding of their client’s food choices, and therefore provide tailored guidance to the client’s distinct needs. While dietitians collect important metrics such as blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels, a client’s diet is generally self-reported. By having access to the grocery receipt and meal/snacks, the dietitian gains a clearer picture of their client’s food choices, and therefore can provide tailored guidance, in addition to more general nutrition tips.
Encouraging a dietitian to limit the number of recommendations, supporting a gradual approach to changing someone’s diet. We found in our research that when given a large task such as “eat healthier,” people shut down because of the intimidation around thinking about how far the end goal is away from their current reality. By taking a gradual approach to helping someone improve their diet, we remove this intimidation. Even though a more gradual approach is our recommendation, we will not limit the dietitian and allow them to operate as they see fit.
Capitalizing on existing routines that don’t require significant modification. We believe that if we meet customers “where they are,” we will increase the likelihood of service adoption. Instead of asking our target population to change where they shop or completely overhaul their diet, we will actually make their current grocery shopping habits easier, and slowly implement healthier behavior, week by week, item by item.
Removing unnecessary scientific jargon that only complicates and confuses. Our original inspiration for our product primarily came from low-income individuals who are diabetic. We learned that when someone is first diagnosed with diabetes they are given not only bad news, but also a significant amount of new information for changing their current behavior. This includes a new diet, a new exercise regime, and further responsibility around tracking insulin levels. By removing the complicated jargon presented around food and nutrition, we aim to make it simpler to take action around adopting a healthier diet.
Business Structure and Pricing
Bitesized will be an LLC, charging $30 a month, per user. Half of the fee will go to the dietitian and half to bitesized.
We will “bootstrap” the development of version 1.0 of the app, building it with as minimal funds as possible. We aim to launch the MVP in January 2018.
See our full business plan here: bitesized BusinessPlan