In this Q&A, hear from Dan Zavorotny, co-founder and COO of NutriSense, a platform that uses continuous blood glucose monitoring and nutritional advice to achieve better health outcomes. Dan shares the impact of combining real-time biometrics with actionable insights for chronic disease management and overall well-being.
Can you tell us what you are working on at NutriSense?
Dan Zavorotny: Our mission at NutriSense is to help everyone discover and fulfill their health potential. We use Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) technology, advanced analytics in our mobile app, and 1:1 coaching from nutritionists to provide insights into four pillars of health: diet, exercise, stress, and sleep.
By monitoring glucose in real-time, we provide real-time, personalized feedback on wellness habits and what you need to do to improve your overall health.
What sets NutriSense apart from other solutions is our emphasis on the importance of combining the efficiency and ease of use of our technology with the expertise of recognized nutrition experts. We believe that push notifications alone don’t bring about real behavior change – but the guidance of a healthcare professional combined with real-time data can do so.
Because of this, it was imperative for us to ensure that the advice users receive on the platform comes from a real person with real experience in the field. We focus on the member experience and make sure we build a solution that works, not a brand that looks flashy. We design our services to deliver better wellness outcomes for our members, thereby improving compliance.
How did you come up with the idea? What important insight made you decide to take this opportunity?
DZ: In my previous role in healthcare consulting, my job was to maximize profitability for hospitals and insurance companies. During my career, I’ve noticed two worrying trends: the US is spending more per capita on healthcare every year, and we as a country are getting sicker every year due to preventable diseases (type II diabetes, heart disease, etc.) being caused through bad lifestyle choices.
I was on a trip to San Francisco for a health conference and a childhood friend (now co-founder Alex Skryl) invited me to dinner. He wore a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to improve his metabolic health through more positive eating habits. Finally, while I was not new to glucose monitoring, our conversation allowed me to see an opportunity to create immense value for a large segment of the US population.
Together we had the engineering and business acumen and we just needed to find someone with the health knowledge. Kara Collier, a Registered Dietitian and now our VP of Health, was the perfect person to join our founding team.
How did you turn your idea into a company?
DZ: In the initial phase, there are only two goals for a company: build and sell. Alex has a technical background so he built and with my expertise sales fell into my remit.
The irony is I didn’t know how to sell. My background was strictly finance, so it seemed my skills weren’t relevant. The first thing I did was do an online search for “how to get clients” which, as you can imagine, led to hundreds of articles.
I dived in and started learning how to increase website traffic. Influencer marketing seemed like the quickest route to a low budget and that turned out to be a great decision as we gained 500 clients before spending any money on paid media. To describe this early experience I would use the word “GRIT”.
How big can that get? What is the addressable market and how are you going about capturing it?
DZ: The addressable market for the type of personalized support we offer is broad. We want to help everyone discover and fulfill their health potential, and to get there we must recognize that 89 million Americans already have prediabetic disease and 34 million have type II diabetes.
Additionally, according to McKinsey, the current global wellness market is valued at more than $1.5 trillion, growing 5-10% annually thanks to a surge in both consumer interest and spending power in a post-COVID-19 world.
This shows us that there is a clear need for solutions to help people take control of their health and NutriSense can provide them with a resource to do so.
Through continuous glucose monitoring, leveraging data-driven analytics and access to recognized nutrition experts, we can help people understand how their bodies function in relation to food, stress, sleep and exercise.
Our members want to know about their bodies both in general and in real-time so they can make better health decisions. We solve the interconnected problems of gathering data from our bodies and interpreting their meaning.
Who is the main customer? How do you acquire customers? And how will you expand the customer base?
DZ: Our main customer is anyone who wants to take control of their health and achieve new lifestyle goals.
Currently our members are a diverse group of men and women, typically in their 30s and older. This includes people who realize they lack information about how their bodies are responding to changes in their lifestyle choices and/or are willing to invest in a tool that gives them a comprehensive view of their health.
Many are interested in monitoring blood sugar, living a healthy lifestyle with diabetes, and/or learning more about how their lifestyle and behaviors are affecting their health. We also have Olympic and professional athletes on the platform.
While continuous glucose monitoring can be beneficial to any lifestyle, our ideal client is someone who is focused on their health and a.) committed to better understanding their body’s response to habit changes, and b.) willing to take action against these findings.
As a company, we focus less on where our members start and more on how we can partner with them at every stage of their health journey.
Looking at your roadmap, what are some of the milestones you are aiming for in the next 3-6 months?
DZ: Through 2022, our top priorities are growing our membership and evolving our platform to take a more holistic approach to health—beyond glucose monitoring. We strive to develop a broader range of tools to address four key pillars of health, including tracking additional health markers.
Our platform is most effective for people who are already interested in making an effort to manage their health. So we plan to continue educating people and inspiring others to do more for their health too.
To achieve this, we plan to add more experts to the platform to help track and analyze members’ data, including those with unique areas of expertise. As we add these professionals, we will be better equipped to address the full spectrum of factors that affect health.
In addition, we plan to add new devices such as B. non-invasive glucose monitoring, CGM devices that last longer, and continuous tracking for other metabolites.
Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers?
DZ: We believe that everyone should be able to take care of their own health. Studies have shown that glucose plays a huge role in a person’s overall well-being – even in healthy people, elevated blood sugar levels can affect physiological pathways related to aging, cardiovascular health, kidney function, and of course the risk of developing one Metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
With NutriSense, members can take steps related to exercise and nutrition to manage their health based on both the insights they gain from wearing a CGM and access to guidance from NutriSense experts. This personalized approach with 1:1 coaching really makes the difference, especially when it comes to something as unique and personal as your health journey.
As we remain committed to helping people better understand their bodies, we also look to continue to grow our teams and hire strong talent. With that in mind, we’re hiring! You can find out more and apply here.
Related reading from Fitt Insider:
Issue #180: The Metabolic Health Report
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