Health E-Insights: How is your company leading us to better health?
Mr. Siefert: By aligning big data, in the form of 250,000 ranked peer reviewed articles, scientific papers and clinical studies, with user data like activity, hydration, food, sleep and more, the STYR app defines deficiencies in the user’s diet and makes food and supplement recommendations to create balance.
Health E-Insights: You have a closed loop system. What is that?
Mr. Siefert: As our Personalized Nutrition as a Service approach is based on machine learning, our app captures all a user’s data—food choices, water intake, sleep patterns, and more—to define an optimized nutritional program that can change month over month with the user; that data then turns into the multivitamin, protein, electrolyte, or functional foods the user can subscribe to and have delivered to their doorstep every month.
Health E-Insights: Describe your wearable devices that offer a road to enhanced health.
Mr. Siefert: Though we are a software and app company, we do have hardware devices that sync directly to the app. Our SHYFT activity tracker captures steps, percent to goal, miles covered, and more. Our PHYSQ smart scale captures BMI, visceral fat, water composition, weight, and bone density. Our LIQYD connected sport bottle lets a user track their water throughout the day, with personalized hydration goals they can customize in the app. That said, our Personalized Nutrition as a Service platform is totally agnostic, so users can sync the app through any devices they choose to use, or through their Apple Health or Google Fit apps.
Health E-Insights: What challenges do people who use your system encounter?
Mr. Siefert: The biggest challenge for any user is making lifestyle changes, the STYR Personalized Nutrition as a Service platform is not based on point-in-time personalization, but on changes the user makes throughout their health and fitness journey. It all starts with the user setting their goals through our HDI Engine (which stands for How do I), like “How do I lose weight,” or “How do I start eating better?” Our app gives them three good ideas from in-app coaches, like registered dietitians, nutritionists, and world-class athletes. Those good ideas can be executed through the app to achieve the goals the user has set—but the user needs to commit to making those lifestyle changes, and we try to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
Health E-Insights: So technology has changed the supplement industry?
Mr. Siefert: At STYR we think it is both science and technology that are changing the supplement industry—they really go hand in hand. For example, we have seen ingredients like curcumin scientifically researched and put through rigorous clinical trials to prove its anti-inflammatory value. Our approach is to leverage technology based on our devices and app to define where and how something like curcumin should be used in a formulation for our user based on their activity, hydration, food choices, and more. We are the first and only to take this approach of harnessing science and technology to create more optimized nutrition products.
Health E-Insights: What is it going to take to reverse the obesity epidemic?
Mr. Siefert: So why is there an obesity epidemic? Is it because unhealthy choices are cheaper than healthy choices, or is it because the majority of the population just doesn’t understand the macro- and micro-nutrient value of the foods they are eating, and impact of these nutrients on their body? We think it is a mashup of both. Therefore, we have pioneered the world’s first voice-activated food logging system, where a user can simply tell STYR what they have just eaten, and the app will deliver (in real time), the macro- and micro-nutrient value of the meal they just ate. Aligning this with RDVs, the user can see how balanced their diet is, and the app delivers healthy food recommendations based on deficiencies. This decentralization of nutrition intelligence will help combat the obesity epidemic because it exposes truth behind quick and cheap food, while celebrating the value of healthy choices.
Health E-Insights: What are the top two metrics to which your company pays the closest attention?
Mr. Siefert: We have multiple points of reference we capture through our platform including activity, hydration, geolocation, sleep, mood, food choices, weight, bone density, goal setting, and more to create our personalized nutrition recommendations, so it is hard to pick any two in a vacuum. That said, the two that carry the heaviest weight in our equation are food choices and activity, because they inextricably influence the other variables—like sleep or mood, for example.
Health E-Insights: And finally, can you predict to what heights this technology will lead us to 3-5 years from now?
Mr. Siefert: As STYR introduces new innovations like DNA testing (Q3 2018), age- and condition-specific applications of the platform (GYFT Digital Pregnancy Companion Q3 2018) and new smart devices like blenders, we see our Personalized Nutrition as a Service platform becoming the standard by which everyone else will be judged. Imagine 3-5 years of understanding your macro- and micro-nutrient balance via food choices and how that aligns with your mood, sleep, activity, hydration, and more? Now consider the incredible research being done to understand the link between food and mental health. That information will transform lives—and it all starts with going beyond personalized nutrition as a point-in-time reference and considering it as an ongoing service delivered through science and technology.
Sheldon Baker is CEO of the Baker Dillon Group LLC and has created numerous nutraceutical marketing communications and public relations campaigns for many well-known companies and brands. For Health E-Insights interview consideration or public relations consulting, contact him at SBaker@BakerDillon.com.