This morning a new digital-weight-management startup out of New York City called Calibrate launched with a $5.1 million boost in seed funding led by Forerunner Ventures.
Calibrate is a one-year telemedicine program focused on weight loss that combines both prescription medications and health coaching. The end goal of the program is to help customers “reset their metabolic health.”
Users are assigned a weight coach, who can work with them to modify their eating and exercise habits, as well as things like sleep. These can then be added to the Calibrate app.
“The weight loss industry has been focusing on the number on the scale, but the science tells us it’s more complicated,” Isabelle Kenyon, founder & CEO of Calibrate, said in a statement "Sustainable results are driven not by diets, but by metabolic health. So, our program combines what’s proven to achieve it – metabolic medication and coaching on food, exercise, sleep, and emotional health habits. The result is sustainable weight loss and success beyond the scale – whole-body health, from reduced disease risk to improved day-to-day. Weight doesn’t reflect willpower. It reflects your metabolic system. It’s time we treat it that way.”
WHY IT MATTERS
The United States has struggled with the obesity epidemic for many years now. Today the CDC reports an obesity rate of 42.4% in the country. Obesity is linked to a number of health risks, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
THE LARGER TREND
Weight-management tools have been around for nearly the entire history of digital health. Weight Watchers was an early player in the space, but the space has become more crowded over the years. Direct-to-consumer virtual-health company Ro launched a weight-management offering in December. That initiative is focused on a digestible product called Plenity, which was designed to help the user feel full.
Over the years we’ve also seen a number of approaches to weight management. For example, Zero is a fasting app that helps users keep track of their meals, and Keyto is a startup dedicated to helping users with the keto diet.