Want to lose weight and get healthier? Isn’t that always the promise of every new weight loss program that comes down the pike? What if there was an app for that, complete with input on the foods you eat, an anonymous online support group, coaching and an exercise program, all in one?
Noom might just be the app that’ll help to literally tip the scales.
Co-founder and Co-CEO Artem Petakov is here to talk to us about how he and his team are going to win while others are losing – weight, that is…
Tell us about the decision to apply for the Digital Health Accelerator.
We applied to the New York Digital Health Accelerator because we want to translate successful consumer engagement for weight loss into patient engagement for better health. We have great experience and growth going directly to consumers, and we’re working together with providers and payers to help patients. The mentors involved are the perfect partners to work with us on that mission.
Tell us about your product or service.
Noom engages patients through exercise and nutrition apps focused on specific health problems. Our apps tackle diabetes prevention, diabetes management, eating disorder therapy, and weight control. All are based on our hit consumer app, the Noom Weight Loss Coach, which has been downloaded over 11m times. We’re experts at building apps that people like to use to improve their diet and exercise, and now we’ve created purpose-built apps that patients like to use to improve their health.
Noom Prevent provides mobile delivery of the clinically-proven NDPP curriculum. It simplifies and complements in-person NDPP coaching by replacing paper processes with a highly flexible and engaging mobile platform and progress dashboard. Noom Diabetes Coach incorporates diet, exercise, and basic medication/blood sugar tracking, and is designed for use by patients with their care teams. Noom Monitor applies cognitive behavioral therapy to eating disorder treatment. It includes intuitive food logging, behavior tracking, and an integrated therapist dashboard. Noom Coach Enterprise is a customized weight loss app for large groups, with curated social support specific to the organization, trained facilitators, and custom dashboard tracking and data integration.
Noom Coach has been downloaded over 11 million times and helps consumers lose an average of 10 pounds.
How is it different?
Our approach to engagement is different than many health and wellness apps on the market. We don’t simply track, but rather, we coach. We’re not simply a place to record actions; instead, we guide patients on a path to improved health. We do this in a way that keeps users coming back during what can be a very difficult journey—we’ve retained 42% of consumer users over two years. Improving diet and exercise creates results that feel good later on, but can be very challenging day-to-day. Much of our work has been to find ways to keep our users on the path to success, even when it feels slow or especially challenging. We’re uniquely positioned to bring these lessons about changing behavior to specific health problems that patients and caregivers face together.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Our customers are those who want to improve the health of the people they work with using the vectors of diet and exercise. Although the care delivery landscape is shifting, payers, ACOs, and other large provider organizations have this need today. They all have a stake in reducing costs and comorbidities associated with chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes or obesity.
What is the business model?
We license our software for payers, ACOs, and other providers to use together with their patients, and design implementations based on the specific conditions those organizations wish to target via Noom. Each implementation is designed to integrate with site-specific workflows and data environments.
Noom looks like an awesome place to work. How have you managed to keep your culture through the growth in your personnel?
Years ago, the fifth full-time employee at Noom was the company chef. Now we’re a company of over 40 people, but Chef Jane and her team still prepare a nutritious lunch every day. This is part of our commitment to the health of everyone at Noom. They say a company reflects the spirit of its founders, and Noom is a friendly, warm environment, moving fast to improve health and wellness. We select for people who fit that culture.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Within 6-12 months, we’ll have additional data about the ROI of Noom interventions, and will go live with more customers in NYC, the Northeast, and the West Coast. We’ll be releasing some notable updates to the apps themselves in that timeframe as well.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?
David Shaw. His work on the on the frontier of computational biochemistry is fascinating. He could have a huge impact on health by using the changing relationship between people and their tech ecosystem to improve behavioral health.
What is your take on the current healthcare scene in New York today?
We feel a growing energy around health care and tech across NYC, coming from all stakeholders – entrepreneurs, investors, established institutions, academics, and government alike – and patients themselves! The embrace of innovation and the across-the-board collaborations fuels the thriving health tech scene here.