NRI’s app guiding diabetics to make right food choices in Singapore

A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) produced health app is gaining popularity in Singapore as it guides diabetic patients to make the right food choices and lead a healthy life. The app connects diabetics directly to dieticians who coach them on food choices, one meal at a time.

Screenshot of the app GlycoLeap. Photo courtesy: Holmusk
Screenshot of the app GlycoLeap. Photo courtesy: Holmusk

The app does not urge the diabetics to shun their favourite dishes but it offers small tips to make the food healthier; chicken rice lovers may be advised to ask for plain rice instead of the usual option, which contains 1.5 teaspoons of chicken fat, or laksa fans may be given the guidance to have more cockles and eggs instead of the fishcake which has “32 times as much salt as plain fish”.

The app GlycoLeap has been created by two-year-old startup Holmusk. The app is the brainchild of NRI Nawal Roy, who is the founder and CEO of  the company

It allows user to send photographs of their food, which can be tagged to a restaurant or hawker stall. Users will receive food ratings and feedback through a chat function within an hour.

There are five dieticians at the office of Holmusk situated at Ayer Rajah. They serve several hundred active users on the platform. Each of them can respond upto 80 patients a day.

Nawal Roy, Founder and CEO of Holmusk.
Nawal Roy, Founder and CEO of Holmusk. Photo courtesy: Holmusk

The app, launched last September, is now being used in a research study involving some patients at Tampines Polyclinic.

The aim of Holmusk is for users to improve their body weight by 5 to 7 per cent in six months, and improve their diabetes control marker — the HbA1c — by 0.5 to 1 percentage point, which is equivalent to the effects of medication.

Many of the users have reduced their weight and their diabetes control marker have also come down. One such example is hotel concierge Albert Koh Lye Heng whose weight has come from 110 kg to 80 kg. His “very high” HbA1c of 13 per cent has dropped to 8 per cent.

Last month, an adapted version of GlycoLeap, called SuperLeap, was launched in partnership with the Health Promotion Board to tackle childhood obesity. It aims to recruit 700 overweight children and families on the platform by the end of the year.

Holmusk is a pioneering big data and digital health company focused on addressing the growing epidemic of chronic diseases. The company develops innovative, scalable and cost-effective digital disease management programs to help patients improve their health.