By Erica Jain WG’17 and Cavan Klinsky W’19, Co-founders of Healthie
Erica Jain and Cavan Klinsky received an award from the M&T Innovation Fund to help found their company, Healthie. Here’s what their startup is doing:
Registered dietitians and nutritionists play an incredibly important role in the US Healthcare system, and have been shown to have a sustainable, clinically effective impact on the health of American adults. Today, over 65% of American adults are overweight or obese, but fewer than 5% have regular access to a regular dietitian.
The inspiration for Healthie came from watching Erica’s parents struggle with weight loss for 20 years. Her parents finally lost a cumulative 55 pounds through seeing a registered dietitian, through a corporate wellness program offered by their insurance. Erica saw how effective and life-changing this experience was for her parents, and she started digging into how dietitians could be more accessible, affordable, and available to Americans struggling with health issues.
We spent several months speaking with as many dietitians as possible to understand how they were practicing care today, the challenges and barriers they faced in private practice, and their thoughts on what an ideal solution would look like. Then, we got to work to design and build that solution. The product evolved with every conversation and every piece of feedback we had, and the relationships that we built with dietitians have been invaluable for us. We quickly realized that showing our product, even early versions of it, was the best way for our business to grow and evolve.
Ultimately, we want to empower dietitians. What we’ve realized is that they need an all-in-one, modern tool that can help them see more patients and reduce the time they spend on back-end tasks like scheduling, billing, and other paperwork. In speaking with over 150 dietitians, we realized that their unique care workflow means that EHR platforms designed for doctors and other health professionals aren’t optimal for dietitians. Moreover, an increasing number of dietitians are looking for a HIPAA-compliant portal in which to conduct virtual care, or telehealth, to connect with patients remotely. This will enable dietitians to build closer relationships with their patients, and also better communicate with them in between appointments to achieve better health outcomes.
This is just the beginning for Healthie, and we are very grateful to the Penn community and resources for the support.
Bio: Erica Jain is CEO & Co-Founder of Healthie. Prior to Healthie, Erica worked within the healthcare practice of The Boston Consulting Group and on the nutrition team of the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
Bio: Cavan Klinsky is CTO & CO-Founder of Healthie. Prior to Healthie, Cavan co-founded Gevva, and holds six years of web development experience across accelerator-backed startups.