Dutch health-tech startup Clear has closed a successful financing round of €1 million with food and agriculture VC Future Food Fund, along with a number of prominent angels and the Rabobank. Together with the €1.1 million round of November last year, the startup bridges the period until Clear is reimbursed by health insurers.
Clear was founded in 2019 by Piet Hein van Dam (PhD) and Madelon Bracke (PhD) and offers a health program with a glucose sensor, a smart app and a real coach. The strength of the program lies in 100% personalized nutritional advice and an AI food recommender. Both essential for a healthy lifestyle.
The Clear app analyses glucose levels through the sensor to detect individual responses to food. Users receive real-time personalised nutritional advice, via the app and a real coach. They can then adjust their meals to improve blood sugar levels and prevent lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes. Previously, GraphWear came up with a smartwatch for this purpose.
More than half of the participants of the Clear program now realize a significant improvement of their health within 2 weeks.
At home testing
A 2021 study into the effect of Clear personalised nutrition on type 2 diabetes patients showed that both the average blood glucose levels and the BMI of the participants decreased, and that medication could be reduced in a number of cases – in consultation with their healthcare provider.
Founder and CEO Piet Hein van Dam: “Diabetes 2 is a condition that is often caused by lifestyle. What is more logical to investigate if you can also revert it with your lifestyle? Before you need to start taking medication or proceed into the healthcare system, we try to find out together with you at home what you can improve. With a simple app. Through simple adjustments, with the help of our coaches and, above all, direct visibility into what nutrition does to you (in the app).In this way we see that our participants can get out of the danger zone themselves.”
The Rotterdam project
Clear started the project in Rotterdam together with the Dietician practice HRC and general practitioners from Gezondheidscentrum Nieuwe Westen. Diabetes prevalence varies per region and is influenced by the living environment, demographics, socio-economic factors and local healthcare capacity. Rotterdam is in the top 3 regions with most users of diabetes medication in the Netherlands.
The project is set up in collaboration with insurance company Zilveren Kruis. The goal is to prepare Clear as a digital self-help tool for use by general practitioners and dieticians among large groups of patients. Zilveren Kruis has supported the project in Rotterdam through innovation funds. Zilveren Kruis also contributed to the design of the project, about how to gain insight into the (positive) effects of Clear on the health of diabetes patients. But also on the impact of the app on the (diabetes) care that general practitioners and dietitians provide and Clear’s contribution to keeping care accessible in the long term.
Jolande van Teeffelen, Director of Dietitian practice HRC in Rotterdam: “By using Clear my clients are more aware of how their body responds to nutrition and exercise. This allows us to provide more personalized nutritional advice. Moreover, digitization helps to react faster and more effectively at the right time”.
Arianne van Lavieren, Healthcare innovation consultant, Zilveren Kruis: “Digital healthcare solutions such as Clear can make a significant contribution to promoting (better) health, more control and independence for the user/patient. Because they can monitor their blood glucose levels in a relatively simple way, participants gain (more) insight into which foods contribute to better health for them and which do not. This can prevent rising values and thus a visit to the dietician or hospital. Innovation in healthcare is necessary to be able to continue to provide the most appropriate healthcare in the right place, even with looming capacity shortages.”
After Rotterdam, Clear will continue to roll out the digital diabetes program in other regions, in collaboration with local health practices.
About the financing
Jaap Strengers, Future Food Fund: “We look forward working with Clear to help people improve their health through food. We are confident that the Clear team can make a significant contribution to building a more sustainable and healthier food system.”
Jeroen Brouwer, Start & Scale-up banker at the Rabobank: “Rabobank’s mission is to stimulate the transformation of healthcare in the Netherlands. For this we are looking for innovative entrepreneurs who contribute to higher quality, higher accessibility, and appropriate affordability within the sector. The solution developed by Clear fits in seamlessly with this. We are therefore delighted to support this startup through our Rabo Innovation Loan – a financing solution for early-stage innovations.”
— PRESS RELEASE