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Weight Loss And AI: How This Startup Is Accelerating Glucose Monitoring For All

Having entry to the correct instruments that help a more healthy life is key for general well-being. Signos is aiming to sort out the weight problems epidemic in the usby providing a brand new approach for folks to behave on their physique’s distinctive response to what and once they eat to drop some weight and kickstart a more healthy life. The firm takes what’s historically prescribed for diabetics and makes it potential for anybody to make use of a steady glucose monitor (CGM,) alongside its AI-powered app, to coach wearers what’s greatest for their very own our bodies.

I not too long ago had an opportunity to take a seat down with Signos co-founder and CEO Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer to debate the well being and wellness house, particularly weight reduction, and the way progressive corporations like Signos are extra successfully supporting folks via weight reduction journeys.

Gary Drenik: Tell me about your background and what led you to begin Signos?

Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer: Growing up, I struggled with my weight. I bought to a spot the place I used to be very unhealthy. As a last-ditch effort, my mother inspired me to take part in sports activities, and I bought hooked. Turns out I used to be very athletic, even receiving a few presents to play within the National Hockey League (NHL). I inform this story as a result of even only a few years in the past, I discovered myself chubby once more.

A member of my household, a diabetic, impressed me to create Signos. He confirmed me his glucose monitor and he defined the way it labored, and I assumed — wow! What if we might take this piece of know-how to increase the advantages of glucose perception to the plenty? Why will we wait till individuals are “sick” earlier than enabling them to study from their very own our bodies’ pure alerts? I wished to know methods to reverse this pattern and assist as many individuals as I might within the course of.

Professionally, my background is in constructing corporations centered round AI. I graduated with honors with a BS in Computer Science from Princeton University and have an MBA from Harvard Business School. I reside with my household in California.

Drenik: How is what Signos brings to the desk totally different from what’s already obtainable for shoppers?

Fouladgar-Mercer: Until Signos, folks with diabetes have been the one ones who had an opportunity to entry their very own glucose info, and but, understanding glucose ranges is essential for everybody to unlock how their our bodies work greatest and individualize weight reduction. We’re seeing this rising thirst for data and understanding round glucose, and its significance to people for every little thing from particular meals pairings and probably the most helpful timing of train to particular enhancements in a single’s sleep.

According to a current Prosper Insights & Analytics survey, over 36% of Americans turned to telemedicine within the pandemic, up from simply 12% in early 2020. Americans have by no means had extra entry to healthcare professionals at our fingertips. However, as a nation, weight problems stays one of many largest well being issues that may result in extra severe well being issues.

Signos makes use of the newest Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), which is the one FDA accredited CGM that gives real-time alerts with out fingerstick calibration and is completely obtainable to non-diabetics via our firm. The app builds accountability and instigates sustainable way of life change that ends in weight reduction. We’ve taken a know-how that’s been lifesaving for diabetics, the CGM, and mixed it with synthetic intelligence algorithms to assist folks higher predict their glucose responses and assist the tens of millions of people who find themselves on the trail to diabetes finally reverse course. In different phrases, we may also help folks quantify the impact totally different meals have on their distinctive metabolisms, serving to them make data-driven selections when selecting what to eat. We’ve raised a complete of $17M, together with a Series A spherical led by GV (previously Google Ventures) in help of those efforts.

Drenik: What are a few of the mostly misunderstood assumptions about glucose and glucose monitoring?

Fouladgar-Mercer: Out of the gate, I’d say the commonest assumption is that solely diabetics want to fret about glucose ranges. According to the CDC, over 75% of American adults are chubby or overweight and roughly 96 million American adults – greater than 1 in 3 – are prediabetic. Of these with prediabetes, over 80% do not know they’ve it. Prediabetes places you at elevated danger of creating kind 2 diabetes, coronary heart illness, and stroke. Based on the stats – we might all do a greater job at minding our metabolic well being at any weight. Another widespread assumption can be that people actually aren’t all that totally different in terms of particular meals and glucose. However, glucose response can range considerably between people. Some folks can eat rice with out experiencing a giant glucose response; others eat rice, a easy carbohydrate, as a staple of their weight loss plan with out impact. And lastly, many assume glucose ranges solely rise in response to meals triggers. Stress and sleep high quality play an enormous function in glucose stability, and all of us have totally different hormonal components that have an effect on our our bodies.

Prosper Insights & Analytics analysis has proven because of the pandemic, over 25% of Americans have turn into extra anxious and virtually 21% have turn into extra depressed, that are each linked to weight administration challenges. As many individuals are getting again into the health club and routines, we’re hoping to assist people with weight administration lengthy earlier than they develop different extra severe well being issues.

Tracking glucose could also be probably the greatest preventative measures that one can make use of to realize visibility into how one’s every day habits have an effect on the physique. It is a game-changer in that this follow permits folks to take cost of their well being. Instead of viewing glucose monitoring as a reactive method to illnesses, folks could be a viable method to be proactive and forestall avoidable ailments. You can see, in actual time, the results of meals, and sleep train in your glucose and make data-driven decisions on methods to make modifications to reside in a more healthy approach.

Drenik: Can you share just a few widespread tips for meals pairings that glucose ranges might unlock?

Fouladgar-Mercer: Food pairings are undoubtedly particular person. We had a consumer study that including under-ripe bananas to his oatmeal every morning would hold his blood sugar in test and assist him drop some weight. He’d been consuming oatmeal for years earlier than he discovered how considerably it spiked his glucose when he’d eaten it plain.

Another vital piece of training for our customers is pairing carbohydrates with wholesome fat could also be helpful to assist sluggish their insulin spikes. Eating a slice of toast within the morning is infamous for elevating blood sugars. However, including avocado on high, stuffed with wholesome fat, may very well regulate the spike. In extension, we advocate avoiding consuming any bare carbs, or carbohydrates on their very own. As a reminder, carbohydrates embrace grains/starches, starchy greens (potatoes, peas, corn), fruit, and dairy. Try pairing a bit of fruit with a few tablespoons of nut butter and/or mixing the fruit in plain full fats Greek yogurt.

We advocate balancing meals with all three macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. When carbohydrates are mixed with protein and/or fats, the glucose is absorbed extra slowly and evenly into the bloodstream. The addition of protein and fats additionally assist to delay digestion, which stabilizes your blood sugar and retains you fuller longer.

Drenik: How do you assume your know-how may change the world?

Fouladgar-Mercer: Who amongst us doesn’t want to be more healthy? Yet, as a lot as we attempt, how many people wrestle? Diabetics aren’t the one individuals who can profit from monitoring glucose. If you might be chubby or overweight, you might be at an elevated danger for harmful well being outcomes like heart problems, diabetes, and strokes. Care for the results of weight problems prices upwards of $150 billion a 12 months. The Signos platform may also help folks short-circuit the cycle of glucose spikes, insulin launch, and the storage of extra glucose as physique fats. By doing this via proactive meals alternative suggestions and real-time prompts for bodily train on the proper time, we may also help folks preserve higher blood sugar stability and whether it is proper for them, to drop some weight. If we may also help only one particular person cease the development from elevated glucose spikes to insulin resistance to pre-diabetes and kind two diabetes, we have began to make actual progress. If we will do that at scale, we’re enhancing the well being of tens of millions of individuals.

Drenik: Thanks for taking the time to debate improvements within the well being and wellness house. It’s clear Signos desires customers to have a protracted and wholesome life, so giving people an alternate choice to conventional weight reduction applications could also be a giant step in the best path for our nation. I sit up for seeing how Signos continues to help its customers via their well being journeys.

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