Ayble Health, a digital health company focused on chronic GI conditions, has launched a direct-to-consumer app with a program targeting nutrition.
The initial offering is a precision nutrition program providing comprehensive, personalized dietary treatment plans and coaching from certified health experts to GI patients looking to manage their symptoms.
Frustrated by the lack of access to GI-specialized dietary and psychological support he faced on his own care journey, Ayble Health CEO Sam Jactel founded the startup in 2020. The app makes evidence-based recommendations to help users find relief and demystify chronic GI issues.
“These conditions are so pervasive, and if we don’t talk about it and we keep sweeping it under the rug, we’re going to have a hard time addressing these patients’ needs,” Jactel told Fierce Healthcare.
GI issues are prevalent and costly. Black and other marginalized populations are more likely to suffer from GI issues and are more likely to receive poor care. The current state of access to care “leaves a ton of room for improvement,” Jactel argues.
Ayble’s app asks users to fill out a questionnaire, which feeds into the startup’s GI behavioral health database. Those data, alongside machine learning, then build personalized care programs for users.
Users can select their preferred length of the program. The app guides users through multiple phases of its personalized nutrition program, which helps identify and eliminate foods that trigger gut symptoms. The program also includes access to resources like customizable diet preferences, grocery-finding tools and a scanner that helps users scan barcodes to see whether a product is right for them. Ayble says its pricing is affordable, with a four-month subscription costing less than one hour with a dietitian.
Not only is GI care hard to access, but a GI diagnosis often overlaps with mental health issues like anxiety, depression and PTSD, which require special attention. Yet GI psychologists are rare and difficult to access, Jactel says. To that end, Ayble plans to launch a psychology program for GI patients later this year. Jactel likens it to “Headspace for your gut.”
Existing apps on the market help users stick to a certain diet, but they don’t help them identify whether that diet is right for them to begin with, Jactel argues. “It presupposes that it is correct without actually having the validation that it is correct,” he said.
Ayble says it improves symptoms for more than 81% of patients with irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease patients. And 70% of patients completely eliminate their symptoms by the end of their program. The app also offers a pathway for people who don’t yet know their diagnosis.
Ayble hopes the app will be recommended by clinicians and integrated with existing treatment plans. Ayble also has employer, payer and health system clients and partners including the likes of the American Gastroenterological Association and Harvard Medical School. It is accredited by the American Nutrition Association and has published its clinical research in more than a dozen peer-reviewed studies.