There’s a market for health and wellness apps, but when it comes to connecting the apps to a variety of disparate systems, APIs are required to handle the load. Klappo is poised to help UK developers seize a chunk of the 500 million-user market, projected for 2015. Today, May 5, at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC, the company announced the launch of Sensum.io, a new API for entrepreneurial app developers to create health and wellness apps faster and for less money that traditional methods.
APIs are critical connectors between apps and data sources. Access to an API helps supermarkets, restaurants and content providers – even small ones – create apps that allow customers to learn more about their purchases or meals. This is all personalized, according to Max Del Vita, CEO, which means that someone with diabetes would not be recommended sugary soda, while an athlete would not be discouraged from purchasing the soda.
This not only helps health-conscious consumers make more informed choices but also assists healthcare professionals with providing choices for patients with allergies, food intolerances, specialized diets and religious preferences. In a residential setting, this allows nurses and nutrition staff to better offer dietary options to patients.
Both options stem from the diabetes epidemic in the UK, which the National Health Service has been trying to combat. Whether it’s a dietician preparing a meal or a consumer choosing compatible foods, one of the biggest problems is understanding whether certain products match a particular user’s profile, Del Vita said. Sensum.io allows developers to create apps that take into account the age, gender and body mass index of the user or patient, parse the properties of a product, and recommend or not recommend based on those parameters.
One of Sensum.io’s differentiating factors is its use of semantic technology, which provides more accurate data, Del Vita said in an interview. Part of this means that Sensum.io actually uses a natural language processing engine that reads through the text of recipes and understands, for example, whether a potato is baked, boiled or fried. “We don’t gather just a list of ingredients. We also understand how ingredients are processed,” he said.
Another important factor is that, while the API has a collection of tools, developers can take a “cafeteria” approach to development and only use what they need, Del Vita said. Developers can either create a high-level app that gathers information about diet incompatibilities or a more in-depth program that manages diabetes or sports nutrition, he said.