Cara gets $2M to help IBD, IBS patients with tracking app, AI

By Jonah Comstock
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Cara, a Berlin-based startup building a medical app for digestive health (a space the company has boldly dubbed “poop tech”), has raised a $2 million seed round. Atlantic Labs led the round, and additional investments came from angel investors. The company does business as Cara, the name of its app, but is officially known as HiDoc.

“Digestive issues are still a taboo topic but we are now making them visible to the public,” Jesaja Brinkmann, medical co- founder at Cara, said in a statement. “Digestive diseases are widespread. There are so many people out there suffering from bloating, diarrhea, constipation or stomach pain on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many health practitioners are not up to date with the state-of-the-art treatment options. Also, conventional treatments don’t work for everyone.”

The company offers a free app for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), reflux and food intolerances, fields wherein the best treatment varies from patient to patient.

The main functionality of Cara’s app is that of a food and symptom diary. As users track their eating habits and gastrointestinal symptoms, they can see trend data on how the two relate. They can also contact a support team directly in the app via messaging.

Increasingly, the company will also be adding microbiome-based, AI-powered insights.

“Our success at building a user-friendly tracking app puts us into a great position to establish a new class of supplements that is data-driven and uses machine learning to tailor physical supplements,” Dr. Dankrad Feist, technical co-founder at Cara, said in a statement. “Other factors that make us unique are: automated symptom trigger identification and food image recognition powered by a convolutional neural network.”