DigitalHealth.London Spotlight: Fruit Street

Every week, we shine a spotlight on one of our DigitalHealth.London companies, founders, or NHS fellows. Today, we are excited to feature our current DigitalHealth.London Accelerator company Fruit Street.

What is the problem you are trying to solve and why is it important?

Prediabetes affects one in three adults, posing a significant risk for the onset of Type 2 diabetes. In the UK, Type 2 diabetes accounts for over 90% of all diabetes cases, resulting in increased healthcare expenses and potential health complications (i.e., heart disease, stroke, amputation, blindness, and dialysis).

What is the solution you have developed and how can it help with the problem?

Fruit Street delivers a comprehensive diabetes prevention programme through telehealth and live interactive group video sessions via Zoom, led by registered dietitians. The 12-month programme includes 22 sessions where a dietitian meets with a group of 30 patients for an hour, covering topics such as nutrition, physical activity, sleep hygiene, and stress management. Additionally, participants receive a wireless scale, Fitbit device, and access to a mobile app allowing them to photograph their meals for personalised feedback from their dietitian. Fruit Street’s goal is to help individuals with prediabetes achieve a 5% weight loss, reducing their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

What is the history of your company?

Originating in the United States in 2014, Fruit Street initially focused on licensing telemedicine software. In 2017, we made a strategic pivot, transitioning to provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Diabetes Prevention Programme to prominent self-insured employers and health plans, including Walgreens, Delta Airlines, and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS).

What successes have you had so far from successful pilots/trials/contracts?

Over the years, we have successfully enrolled over 45,000 individuals with prediabetes and trained over 150 registered dietitians to administer the programme effectively.

What are your future goals? What does success look like?

We are actively exploring avenues for growth within the UK market and are discussing plans for our inaugural pilot programme with an Integrated Care System (ICS). With the recruitment of a dedicated dietitian and adaptation of the programme to align with UK needs, our next step involves gathering real-world evidence to validate the effectiveness of our solution in the UK context.

We are also thinking of collaborating with North West London and their ICS, as well as exploring possibilities with the DiscoverNow Solution. Our overarching goal is to extend our telehealth-based diabetes prevention programme to reach a substantial number of prediabetic patients across the UK, ultimately aiming to serve thousands within the population.

How has your time on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator helped you in achieving these?

We were introduced to several potential pilot partners and our dedicated NHS Navigator, Lewis, advised us on adapting our curriculum for the UK. Without the support from DigitalHealth.London, we would have not made connections to potential pilot sites and would not have understood the UK market.

Do you have any advice for aspiring digital health companies?

You should always focus on evidence generation and healthcare reimbursement. The solution needs to work, and you need to figure out how to earn revenue so that your business model will be sustainable. If you can build a solution that improves outcomes, reduces costs, improves patient and clinician satisfaction, then you have something that could work well.

Any asks for the audience?

We would love introductions to potential General Practitioners (GPs) who would be interested in doing a pilot with us by referring their prediabetic patients to our programme.

Fruit Street is currently in Cohort 7 of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme.

The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme is funded by the UK Government via the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). It is delivered by the Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London in partnership with the Office of Life Sciences, CW+, Medicity, NHS England, the Mayor of London and the Levelling Up Fund.

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