Going by the name of Nutrium, this software was designed with dieticians and nutritionists in mind. It is intended to make the drawing up of nutrition plans simpler and to optimize client supervision, helping the attainment of set goals. This is the key product of Healthium, a UMinho spin-off dedicated to the development and commercialization of software solutions in the area of health.
The idea has its roots in 2015, when the UMinho Information Technology Master’s student André Santos, attending a nutritionist’s appointment, realized that both the nutritionists’ and the patients’ lives could be made easier. The young entrepreneur asked for the help of two of his course colleagues, Diogo Alves and Pedro Maia.
In the following few months the project won the SpinUM Young Entrepreneurs prize, became a member of the Startup Braga incubator, established partnerships with Portuguese associations of nutritionists and dieticians, and obtained financing from Primavera BSS that enabled the setting up of Healthium.
Nutrium is software for nutritionists and health professionals that simplifies complex tasks such as planning, analysis and creation of eating plans, nutrition calculations and optimization of follow up plans, while at the same time helping clients fulfil their nutrition obligations. “The idea is to simplify the work of the specialist, allowing a close accompaniment of each patient”, André Santos explains to NósAlumni. “The tool motivates the patient to fulfil their eating plan, which can be consulted at any time, sends meal time alerts and registers the measurements and the non-compliances”. The software is connected to a mobile application that is made available to patients so they may consult their plan and send information to the nutritionist, who also has access in real time to their progress, enabling adjustments and alterations to plans and even the bringing forward of the next appointment.
The Healthium team first started with four people from the information technology area but now has a total of ten, one of whom represents the brand in Brazil. André Santos, CEO of the Minho spin-off, underlines the fact that Nutrium has plenty of room for growth, since “there is an increasing number of people concerned about their nutrition for well-being, sporting and social reasons”. According to the UMinho ex-student, “there has been an increasing accompaniment of patients with eating problems, such as the obese, hypertensives and diabetics. The World Health Organization considers obesity to be the XXI century’s main epidemic, possibly affecting half the Portuguese population by 2025”.
Some Healthium team members: Tomás Ferreira, Pedro Maia, Pedro Carneiro, Diogo Alves, André Santos, Diana Cruz e André Geraldes
The Nutrium platform is being used in Portuguese and Brazilian clinics, having more than 8,000 registered professionals. Since there is a big potential for internationalization, reaching other countries is one of the team's objectives. This is why the platform is available in Portuguese, English and Spanish and has begun to acquire clients from the USA, Canada and the UK.
Being a UMinho spin-off, the expansion of Healthium has been followed by a group of university lecturers who serve as mentors, as well as by students and professionals. According to the project coordinator, everything the company's founders learned throughout their course was vital for the development of the product. But more importantly, "as students, we engaged in various extra-curricular initiatives and associations that helped us develop competencies and allowed us to get to know people who now help us with different challenges".
* Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem article, in partnership with TecMinho