Nutrimedy, a two-year-old telehealth startup based in Brookline, is looking to broaden the pool of registered dietitians available to patients regardless of their physical location, by using an app and an online platform.
Jonah Cohen, a physician at Harvard Medical School, founded the company because many of his patients expressed that they were struggling with their diet. Cohen wanted to help, but like most physicians, he does not have proper dietetics training.
“We were underutilizing the dietitians in our country,” Cohen, who now serves as Nutrimedy’s chief medical officer, said. “There had to be a better way to match people for medical nutrition therapy.”
Thus began Nutrimedy, a five-person company offering an online service and app that allows people to find dietitians across the country based on their preferred language and dietetic need, instead of their location. The company launched in March 2016 and the app in February 2018.
Users on the service will make an account and fill out a survey about their health needs. Then, Nutrimedy will work to connect them to their best fit. Once connected, patients can begin messaging the specialist or set up an appointment. Appointments are done over video from anywhere in the country and cost between $35 (for a 25-minute session) and $65 (for a 50-minute session).
Nutrimedy CEO Karolina Starczak, a registered dietitian herself, joined the company because she wanted to do something new that still used her clinical experience.
“It really kind of connected a lot of the pieces that I had worked on throughout my career,” Starczak said. “It allowed me to really step back into a company that was a little more focused on nutrition, but still really looking to deliver this product that would help to improve health, and do it in a way that was personalized.”
Currently, Nutrimedy is gearing up to launch their newest service, which is an expecting mother’s program. This new service, which is scheduled to launch on April 23, will allow users to be paired up with a dietitian who specializes in pregnancy nutrition. The new plan will include five video sessions, unlimited messaging, three-month tracker for a flat $300.
Starczak said that their research found that nutrition was the second most searched term online by pregnant women. The specialized dietitians who will be part of the plan will come from the approximately 650 dietitians on the app. To be included in the Nutrimedy’s network, dietitians are required to be licensed.
Nutrimedy also connects with companies to be able to offer a version of the core-program and their “nuExpecting” program to their employees.
The company is hoping to raise their second seed fund at the end of April. Nutrimedy is also a member of PULSE@MassChallenge digital health cohort, which provides mentorship and potential investment opportunities to digital health startups. The company was also a part of the Boston Children’s Hospital Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator, which provides mentorship and grant funding.
Cohen said over the next six months they want to expand to have potential programs focused on fertility, and postpartum and lactation nutrition.
“I’m just very passionate about this area and a deep believer that food can really help us live our healthiest lives,” Cohen said.