Massive Health, the San Francisco startup aimed at tackling health care problems with innovative mobile apps, launched its first iPhone app called Eatery on Tuesday of this week. In the 48 hours since then, the company has been hit with a flood of data about where and what people eat — and Massive Health Co-Founder Aza Raskin is already pretty pumped about what they can do with it.
First, the basics: The Eatery app lets you snap photos of your food each time you eat, and self-rate how healthy each snack and meal is on a scale from “Fit” to “Fat.” The app also lets you share your meal data with others and encourage them to rate and comment on the healthfulness of your eating habits.
In the two days since the app debuted in the Apple App Store, Eatery has already received ratings on more than 200,000 meals, Raskin tells us, which means the company already has a big data set on what, when and how people are eating. And though on the surface Eatery seems like a fun and simple app, there’s serious potential that comes with it, Raskin says:
“We can take all this data and make it actionable. Want to know where to go for a healthy meal? With people from around the world rating meals, it turns out that we have some data that nobody else has.”
Not surprisingly, the app has proven especially popular in San Francisco and New York, two densely populated cities with a critical mass of iPhone users, early adopters and health-conscious people to whom Eatery should especially appeal. Massive Health has made two heatmaps to represent data the Eatery app has compiled so far in these cities:
It’s cool to see Massive Health already forming strategies to use the data it is amassing. Often startups focus all their attention on attracting users and meeting their immediate needs, and worry about processing all the valuable information they collect much later — if they get around to it at all. Massive Health’s behavior makes sense, though, in light of the fact that the company has been backed by folks known for both deep pockets and deep interest in big picture ideas: Its investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Discovery Fund, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Felicis VC and Charles River Ventures. It will be interesting to see how Massive Health moves forward with Eatery, and what apps come from the company in the future.