Nutrino Health’s AI nutrition platform absorbed by Medtronic’s acquisition

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

The Nutrino engine, which recognises that people respond differently to the same food. However, a single individual may respond differently to the same food at different times.©Nutrino Health
The Nutrino engine, which recognises that people respond differently to the same food. However, a single individual may respond differently to the same food at different times.©Nutrino Health
US nutrition data firm Medtronic is to acquire Nutrino Health in a deal that combines both firms’ expertise in nutritional intervention to address the threat of metabolic conditions such as diabetes.

The purchase builds on a collaboration formed in June 2016 in which both firms co-developed apps designed to monitor glucose levels according to the patient’s reaction to certain foods.

Commenting on the purchase, Hooman Hakami, executive vice president and president of the Diabetes Group at Medtronic, described the Nutrino team as “an outstanding partner over the past few years”.

“Bringing Nutrino and their nutrition-related expertise into our organisation will give us a substantial differentiator in the diabetes industry and accelerate our progress to help people with diabetes live with greater freedom and better health,"​ he added.

“We are excited to welcome them to our team, and I have no doubt that, together, we will make a profound impact on the lives of people with diabetes."

Combining nutritional expertise

The agreement, of which no financial details were disclosed, is set to add Nutrino's comprehensive food database, food analysis system and nutrition-science expertise to Medtronic’s array of medical device technologies.

Nutrino have made a name in the industry as pioneers in using artificial intelligence (AI) to power its personalised nutrition analysis platform.

The Israeli-based outfit have built a food database containing nutrition data insights from millions of access points and food items globally.

From this Nutrino have set up FoodPrint, a personalised assessment service that records personal responses to different foods.

By harnessing Nutrino's technology and infrastructure with continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) closed loop systems, Medtronic can help reduce the physical and mental burden of nutrition management for diabetics.

"The Nutrino team is passionate about personalized nutrition data services and technologies. Our work in the diabetes space is helping to address the needs of a growing population that needs better tools and guidance,"​ said Yael Glassman, CEO of Nutrino Health.

"We are excited to now focus completely on the intersection of nutrition and diabetes to help more people be able to better manage their condition."

Rise of personalised nutrition

In an interview​ with sister site FoodNavigator, co-founder and chief scientist of Nutrino, Yaron Hadad spoke of the rise of personalised nutrition and gene-tailored diets as consumers became increasingly invested in their health.

“Companies who fail to appreciate this will struggle over the coming decade, and within three decades every successful food company will be a ‘personalised food company’,”​ ​he said.

He commented that it was “definitely possible​”​ for big, multinational food manufacturers to tap into the personalised nutrition trend adding that along with personalisation, the future of food also included innovative ways of producing it.

The acquisition is expected to close in Medtronic's third fiscal quarter, ending January 25, 2019, subject to conditions.

Medtronic have previously looked at AI technology with the Sugar.IQ app, the firm's partnership with IBM Watson.

In a similar agreement, AI is used to power the app and help distribute nutritional guidance to people with diabetes.

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