Food as medicine is on the menu

Just a few months ago, food as medicine was a nascent space in digital health, but recent activity has elevated the topic from appetizer to main course. Digital health players, grocers, and even government leaders are placing bets on the power of nutritional guidance and food delivery services to contribute to preventative healthcare, mitigate chronic conditions, and address food deserts. Instacart, a partner in several big-name food as medicine programs, has even attracted some recent acquisition rumors.

The umbrella term “food as medicine” encompasses many different types of digital programs, which range from “scripts” for dietician appointments, to medically-tailored meals, to subsidized groceries and food deliveries. Funding for these programs varies too. Some programs rely on nonprofit dollars or Medicaid waivers, while others help customizers utilize their benefits from health plans (especially MA plans), or sign up for SNAP. But the details of these funding mechanisms may change—which means that food as medicine players will likely have to adopt multiple payment strategies, rather than putting all of their eggs in one basket.


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Recent Funding

  • Ambience Healthcare inks $70M for its AI-powered medical scribe and suite of admin tools
  • Unlearn lands $50M for its digital twin technology and AI-optimized clinical trials
  • Aizon grabs $20M for its pharmaceutical manufacturing and quality assurance tools
  • Vektor Medical, developer of an AI arrhythmia mapping solution, reels in $16M
  • Elemind emerges with $12M for its neuromodulation headset for sleep and attention 
  • App-based, psychology-driven intervention for chronic insomnia Stellar Sleep seeds $6M
  • Rivia Health nabs $3.25M for its revenue cycle management and medical payments solution