Elevance Health rolls out a nutrition tracker in its Sydney member app

Elevance Health is making the latest expansion to its Sydney member app with the addition of a new Nutrition Tracker tool.

The tracker uses artificial intelligence to recognize foods in photographs taken by a member's smartphone camera. It can log individual foods as well as entire meals using this functionality, the insurer, formerly Anthem, said.

Once the information on a meal is logged, it can quickly be added to the member's health record and then be shared with their provider, with consent, allowing for personalized feedback from their medical team.

Anil Bhatt, global chief information officer at Elevance Health, told Fierce Healthcare that the insurer wants Sydney to be able to offer as much valuable information to the member "at their fingertips" as possible. Elevance Health regularly gathers consumer feedback on features that would most benefit them.

Nutrition, he said, is a critical aspect of health for people with a variety of needs and conditions, so a nutrition tracker was a logical addition.

Making features like this available within Sydney makes the app a one-stop-shop for members and furthers Elevance's goal of being a lifetime partner in their health.

"We want to ensure that we make it an entry point for any members who are engaged with Elevance Health," Bhatt said.

Elevance Health has steadily grown the userbase for Sydney, and Bhatt said the Nutrition Tracker will reach about 15 million people. The tool allows them to log thousands of common foods and ingredients in the app, which will measure daily and weekly progress in managing calories, fat, carbohydrates, proteins and micronutrients.

Members can create and share their personal meal logs and canreceive personalized meal plans from their providers based around their unique needs and goals. As more people use the tool, the AI algorithm will learn to more effectively identify different foods, Bhatt said.

Bhatt said Elevance Health views making valuable member data available to providers as a key goal, and the Nutrition Tracker was built with that kind of data exchange in mind.

"As we are building more and more pipelines as well as integration with our providers, making sure that they have this information available is going to be very, very important to us," he said.