Javier Alvarez
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Patient-Focused Platform Key to Success in the Digital Era

By Andrea Villar | Fri, 08/14/2020 - 09:56

Q: How has the company evolved since its founding and what are your growth expectations given the pandemic-induced new normal? 

A: We believe the new normal will last for about two or three years. This represents an important opportunity for all online platforms, especially in Mexico. At present, we have seen greater adoption among nutritionists, who are serving a market that is afraid to go out due to the pandemic, creating the need for mixed, face-to-face and online models. We hope for greater adoption in the coming months as the crisis has accelerated the organic growth of online platforms.

Nutrition has been somewhat neglected and the market potential in this sector is impressive. We have seen a 4 percent increase weekly in nutritionists joining the platform every week. This shows that the tool works for them, although we have not ruled out expanding to other markets as well.

Q: What advantages does Avena.io provide for health coaches?

A: Each nutritionist has a niche market. While some focus on caring for people with diabetes, children or overweight patients, others focus on sports nutrition. Given this scenario, we offer different tools to them. As soon as they join the platform, they can receive payments and publicize their services. They do not have to go to a third party to request all these services.

Contrary to our competition, we know what patients and nutritionists like. Often, the health coach adapts very well to digital platforms but the patient does not. Our focus has always been to improve the patient experience and develop a user-friendly platform for them. Seven out of 10 nutritionists who test Avena.io have used the platform for over a year. After the second month of use, the dropout rate is very low.

Q: What has allowed Avena.io to gain such retention rates?

A: Our platform is patient-friendly. After patients get their meal plan from the nutritionist, the entire process is in their hands. People leave a digital platform when they start to find it difficult to meet the goals set by their health coach. With Avena.io, it is much easier to meet these objectives. When patients join the app, they have a list of visually appealing recipes and they can choose between similar ingredients if there is one that they do not like. They can generate an automatic shopping list and the work they have to do is reduced.

Avena's success lies in facilitating the patient's process. People who start a diet try it four times a year because it is not easy to do and requires a lot of discipline. Beyond making a tool with very sophisticated functions for the nutritionist, our focus is on helping the patient stick to what their health coach recommends.

Q: How do you use data from the platform to generate strategies for nutritionists?

A: have cared for a variety of patients and we can now predict certain behavioral patterns. This allows us to provide recommendations to nutritionists from the moment they join the platform. Our prediction models make it easy to forecast patient behavior. For example, we begin to track their behavior during the first 15 days after receiving the meal plan. At first, use remains constant and then it begins to slow down but remains stable. However, when we detect patterns of neglect, we alert the health coaches so they can communicate with their patients.


Avena.io is an application that connects people with dietitians. It sets up a personalized plan for customers, which the company says is more efficient and affordable than regular dietitian sessions.

Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst