Virtual classes can make it easier anywhere, anytime, but not for anyone. Consumer fitness technology often targets young and fit people in advertisements and cardio-heavy exercise. It effectively prevents aging adults from participating.
This gap between traditional fitness and seniors is where Mighty Health, a Y combiner graduate, enter.
Mighty Health has created a nutrition and wellness app adapted for the elderly who may have sore hips or joint problems. Today, the San Francisco-based startup announced that it has raised $ 2.8 million in funding from Y Combinator, NextView Ventures, RRE Ventures, Liquid2 Ventures, Soma Capital and more.
Founder and CEO James Li is the child of immigrants, something he said helped him get started in entrepreneurship. He got the idea for Mighty Health after his father was rushed to hospital for an open heart emergency operation.
“Growing up, we can often think of our parents as invincible – they take care of you and take care of you, and you don’t worry too much about them,” said Li. Her father survived the operation, and Li thought about the changing health needs and limits of people over the age of 50. He teamed up with the co-founder of Dr. Bernard Chang, the youngest emergency physician to receive a high level grant from the NIH and vice president of research at Columbia University Medical Center, to create Mighty Health.
Mighty Health’s product focuses on three things: live coaching; content focused on nutrition, preventive controls and workouts; and celebrations that allow family members to keep up with the achievements of their loved ones.
The application incorporates integrated functionality. Each day, a user logs in and gets a set of three to five tasks to do, divided between nutrition, exercise and workouts. The workouts are pre-recorded videos with trainers who have focused on the over 50 population. Think of indoor cardio sets that focus on gentle joints or reducing their impact.
One client, Elizabeth, is a 56-year-old mother who joined Mighty Health after suffering a heart attack. The application allowed her to start walking 9,000 steps a day, lose weight, lower cholesterol and, most importantly, discover a love for a vegetable she had recently eliminated: Brussels sprouts.
Mighty Health’s other main goal, beyond fitness, is nutrition. The app connects users with a coach to help them create healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits. Coaching is done by SMS. Li says it was intentional because at the start of Mighty Health, he saw that coaching in the app was difficult for users to navigate.
“You have to meet them in the middle of where they are,” said Li. Live coaching is also met by phone calls, although 90% of interactions with coaches are text-based.
The nutrition program also represents a diverse user base. Mighty Health has chosen not to offer or offer recipes to members, unlike many other applications, because not all countries and cultures may find accessible generic recipes.
“Instead, we focus on the level of the ingredients,” he said. “We send them ingredients that they can replenish as they wish at home in the way they prepare their cultural meals.”
The company offers a free seven-day course, followed by a contribution of $ 20 per month. He also has discussions with a number of health insurers to offer Mighty Health as a benefit.
With the new capital, the startup hired a few engineers and a designer to develop product integrations with fitness trackers, and add new content. For now, Li sees his father’s progress with pride.
“Although I’m sure he sometimes thinks I just went from harassing him directly to harassing him with my product, he is eating healthier and exercising almost every day,” said Li. his father has now lost 25 pounds.