Health

2018-02-14

We Outgrew FareWell. Introducing Better Therapeutics.

Kevin AppelbaumCo-founder & CEO

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates

When my co-founders and I started what would become FareWell, we wanted to build a company that could have both a significant impact on society, and create value by helping people navigate the noise of dietary nonsense to adopt healthier ways of eating and improve their health.

We assembled a team of scientists, engineers, designers and clinicians, and developed an online program to help people change the way they ate. We learned that our program, while rough around the edges, could effectively change behaviors among those that engaged with it. We named the company FareWell.

While our early successes felt good, we thought, there’s got to be a better way. How do we deliver this solution to millions of people in need, at the same time?

The Problem, and Therefore the Opportunity, is Much Bigger than we Imagined

Chronic disease is a pandemic, and continues to rise in the US and globally. We spend tens of billions of dollars annually on medications whose costs continue to increase (while effectiveness does not), and many more billions on disease management programs to get people to take them. Yet, despite all the prescribing and over-prescribing, disease continues to spread and the burden on people, the healthcare system, and the nation grows in lock-step.

There’s got to be a better way than just prescribing more drugs, getting people to take more of them, with the modest goal of slowing the progression to more complex conditions.

“Treating chronic disease with drugs is like mopping water off the floor without turning off the faucet.”

New Medicine Is Needed

We have known for decades that a small number of behaviors or lifestyle choices we make every day - what we eat, how we move, whether we smoke or drink in excess - are the root causes of common chronic diseases. In fact, these few behaviors, with poor diet topping the list, account for roughly 80% of all premature death and health care costs.

What if we could use the cause to become the cure? What if we could use lifestyle as medicine to treat and even reverse disease, and use technology and data to make the medicine go down? The evidence is on our side and has accumulated over decades. Lifestyle is the most potent medicine we know, and the only one where all of the side effects are good. It is the only medicine suitable for every member of the household, all the time. But for lifestyle to be used as medicine, the dose needs to be significant and sustained over time. It needs to be therapeutic.

Lifestyle Therapy Delivered as a Prescription Digital Therapeutic

Almost every major association of medical professionals, including the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, and American Cancer Society recommend lifestyle therapy as the first line of treatment for diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions. Yet today, physicians have no way to prescribe lifestyle therapy to their patients.

We have the potential to create better medicine, uniquely crafted to treat the root cause of chronic disease at scale.

Better Therapeutics Is the Expression of Our Vision

The very best drugs could only ever effectively treat the consequences, while leaving the causes in place. The best lifestyle therapies are better because they effectively treat the consequences and eliminate the causes. The delivery of lifestyle therapy at scale is what we do at Better Therapeutics.

To read more about our new brand, check out our Brand Guide.

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