Why Personalized AI 'Coaches' May Be The Future Of Nutrition Advice

While there is a growing need for nutritionists in the world, access to these professionals can still be limited due to financial and geographic constraints. However, like many other problems, modern-day technology may be the solution, making these resources more attainable.

AI, or artificial intelligence, has already been implemented in many areas of the food industry. From automated self-service kiosks to AI-managed drive-thrus, there's endless potential for technology to improve the ways people understand and consume food.

According to The New York Times, AI-driven nutrition apps may be the answer for those with health conditions or those who just want to make more mindful food choices. The outlet specifically focuses on the app DayTwo, which was created in 2015. It's tailored to an individual's specific needs and has the mission to mitigate disease "through the gut microbiome and AI."

Read on to find out how this new type of personalized nutrition advice works.

Personalized AI 'coaches' combine biology and technology for sound nutrition advice

The app DayTwo focuses on examining an individual's microbiome and metabolism with the research-based algorithm of its founders, Eran Elinav and Eran Segal, according to The New York Times. Dr. Elinav describes the app as being centered on the individual instead of the food — essentially serving as an AI-based nutrition "coach."

"Rather than measuring foods by caloric content and trying to come up with a 'healthy diet,' you need to start measuring the individual," said the immunologist, who works at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, per the app's website.

DayTwo enables clients, such as Tom Idema, who has type 2 diabetes, to make healthy food choices based on their own chemical makeup. The process starts with a stool sample, which the company analyzes to create a profile for each individual. 

Therefore, within the app, foods aren't labeled as "good" or "bad" because it all depends on a user's blood sugar levels and unique gut health. Rather, the app uses scores to rate how healthy a meal is for a specific person.

Unfortunately, DayTwo is only available to employers or health plans as of this writing, but there's hope that it will expand to other consumers in the future.