Saving lives and curbing healthcare spending, medically prescribed meals are catching on.
For context: Still considered an “alternative” approach, the food we eat has a part to play in public health.
- 85% of US healthcare spending stems from diet-related chronic diseases.
- 78% of consumers say eating the right food can prevent and treat health problems.
- Medically tailored meals could save $13.6B/year and prevent 1.6M hospitalizations.
Special delivery. New initiatives are removing barriers that derail healthy eating by enabling access and ensuring affordability.
- Instacart’s Health division debuted a medically tailored meals partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital in March.
- Last week, FarmboxRx unveiled a new food-as-medicine program to support those affected by SNAP benefit cuts.
- Today, Uber Health announced a physician-prescribed grocery delivery service for those recently discharged from hospitals.
Fresh funding. With consumer interest surging, medically tailored meal marketplaces and care platforms are scaling up.
- Free From Market landed $2.1M in January for its digital healthcare platform that prescribes healthy meals and telenutrition for low-income adults.
- In April, medically tailored meals provider ModifyHealth added a strategic investment to its $10M Series B round from January.
- In May, bitewell raised $4M to help employers lower health insurance premiums through healthy food offerings.
- Around the same time, food-as-medicine meal delivery service Vitabowl secured $3M.
Punchline: Prescribing nutritious meals instead of reactively treating diseases could shift healthcare spending to prevention while having an outsized impact on well-being. Making the process as easy as ordering takeout is a step in the right direction.