New app eyeballs your meal, helps you eat better
"The Eatery" a new app from start-up Massive Health lets users snap a picture of their food and then starts analyzing eating habits over time. SmartPlanet correspondent Sumi Das talks with founders Aza Raskin and Sutha Kamal about the app and what they're doing to change the health care industry.
>> Sumi Das: Massive Health wants to make health care more accessible to everyday people, and the company believes it starts with the design and user-friendly experiences. Here to talk about their plans are Aza Raskin and Sutha Kamal, the co-founders of the company. Gentlemen, thanks for joining me today.
>> Aza Raskin and Sutha Kamal: Thanks for having us.
>> Sumi Das: So what, then, is Massive Health doing to, to change things?
>> So we're trying to be the very first true consumer company in the health care. Right now, patients are often treated like patients. Anyone that's sat in a waiting room knows that. Instead, we want to treat people like people because health happens in between doctor visits. When you eat a piece of cake right now, you don't get very much feedback about what it's doing to your body. Tastes great, sure, but it's the incremental cake you do or do not eat over the course of weeks and months that makes you fit or fat. So feedback inaudible are super, super important. Being able to know when you do something and what your body does with it. So imagine if there's a little thing. Let's call it a inaudible. It's like a pedometer but for eating that sat in your tooth and just monitored how many times you chew. So you set a goal, and if you go over that goal, say, text your mom, or it starts pinging a friend for, for support, those sorts of things where it takes the things that we as humans are bad at and makes it really easy, comes up in our pocket. That's the kind of thing we're doing.
>> Sumi Das: And you actually have a brand-new product that people can use today, now, right?
>> Yeah. So we said, alright, let's go build something for eating better because eating better's really hard. And all the software out there that helps you do it is crap, right. So you've got apps on your phone that take forever to load and then you say I'm having a burrito, and you search for burrito, and you're, like, well, it's not this Trader Joe's thing. It's this thing that I'm eating here, right, and so that's kind of useless. Where you've got these apps now that have this great solution, your phone's got a camera, and it'll let you take a picture of the bar code, of the thing that you're about to eat. It grabs nutritional value. If you want to be healthier, pro inaudible bar code. So that's not so useful. And so we've said, OK, can you take something in your phone or built in your phone that allows you to really quickly and easily capture what it is you're eating. Really quickly figure out is it healthy or not and have other people support you and help you in doing that. Turn it crosstalk into -
>> Sumi Das: What if you're at a restaurant?
>> Restaurants are great. Pull out your phone, take a picture -
>> Sumi Das: Yeah -
>> And answer is it healthy or not, and you're done. So our, our goal is you pull your phone out of your pocket, you record your meal, you put it away, the whole thing takes, like, five seconds. And, and -
>> Sumi Das: It has to be fast, otherwise, people aren't going to use it, right.
>> That's it. So, so, it's not uncommon for me to run around the office begging people to make things 100 milliseconds faster, right, and, and we've done it, which is really cool. But so what we're releasing is an app, which is sort of Massive Health experiment one, and there will be a lot of experiments from us, but the first experiment is all about the inaudible, because it matters to everyone whether you're trying to lose weight or dealing with a disease. And if people go to Massive Health dot com slash experiment, they can go ahead and, and kind of get a link to download on their iPhone, but we're really excited to say there's a lot of stuff that we're learning about how you change behavior and as opposed to waiting until we have the one really great app for diabetes or another disease. We're, like, we're building really cool stuff and want to ship it to people, and we want to learn from it really quickly. So that's the experiment that's going live today.
>> Between my co-founder and I, we've been, I think, really lucky enough to, to ship product to over half a billion people, and we're trying to take all that extra tease of, of creating product that people love to use and apply it to these really hard problems. So no numbers is sort of an important thing to us. Take a picture, wisdom of crowds, social engagements, all those buzzwords you hate hearing about, they're in there. But more importantly, it takes everything we know about behavior change and how people change very particularly the thing they're doing right now with the help of people around them to make them, help them eat better.
>> Sumi Das: Which platform do you want to tackle first? Is it mobile? Is it tablet? Is it desktop?
>> Just said, health happens in between doctor visits. So really that is the thing that's with you. There's a common adage among photographers, the camera that's best is the one that's with you. Same thing for, for health. So mobile's incredibly important.
>> Sumi Das: You've received funding from Grey Lock, inaudible Horowitz, and others. How do you plan, or how have you been spending this seed money so far? What are you doing with it?
>> Funding is first. People moral and, and having come join us. I mean, we're a software company. The only things that really matter to us are the best people in a comfy office, and that's kind of all we've been doing.
>> Sumi Das: Aza, Sutha, thank you so much for joining us today.
>> Thanks for having us -
>> It's been a pleasure.
>> Sumi Das: For Smart Planet, I'm Sumi Das.