Besides COVID-19, type 2 diabetes is the most pressing healthcare problem faced by many right now. In the UK, it is estimated that one in 10 people over the age of 40 is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Of these, 60 percent are said to suffer from a complication of the disease along with major risks, including amputation, heart attack, and stroke.
Recent evidence shows that 45-60 percent of those suffering from type 2 diabetes can completely reverse the condition via a combination of diet and behavioural changes. This reversal has the potential to not only change millions of lives across the world but also to save healthcare systems billions of pounds. These interventions have been delivered on a small scale for research and in NHS pilots.
London-based digital health startup Habitual is working hard to deliver a scaled digital intervention to millions of patients in need of it. The company provides digital prediabetes and type 2 diabetes remission programmes that help patients to reverse disease and live medication-free.
Eyes to take clinical research trials
Today, Habitual announced it has closed $2.3 million (nearly £1.7 million) in a seed funding round led by Berlin-based early-stage investor Atlantic Food Labs along with existing investors Seedcamp and MMC. Also, Oxford Seed Fund, an initiative of the Entrepreneurship Centre at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford took part in the round.
Habitual will use the proceeds to fuel user growth, increase team size, and undertake clinical research trials.
Founded by Dr Ian Braithwaite and Napala Pratini in 2019, Habitual has completed a private beta with results in line with those observed in leading research trials. It ran a paid pilot for its 6-month long diet and behaviour change programmes. Habitual helps patients to make lasting changes to their nutritional, physical and mental health, ultimately helping patients to stop taking medication and achieve remission of type 2 diabetes.
Napala Pratini, cofounder & COO: “There’s never been a better time to build a digital health company, particularly in the diabetes space. With skyrocketing rates of chronic disease crippling our healthcare systems, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating adoption of digital healthcare interventions, and increasing patient awareness of the importance of a healthy, balanced lifestyle, we’re not only hoping to build a massive business—but also to help millions of people across the world to live longer, happier lives.”
Ian Braithwaite, cofounder & CEO: “There is a growing body of scientific evidence to show that gold standard treatment for type 2 diabetes should no longer be solely reliant on pharmacology-based management, but rather defined by empathetic and effective behavioural treatment to help patients reverse the underlying disease process and sustain remission from type 2 diabetes. This challenge is not an easy one, but we are excited about the opportunity to help define this new standard of care for millions of type 2 diabetics.