Calibrate, which combines weight loss with telemedicine, launches with $5.1M

Steven Loeb · June 25, 2020 · Short URL:

The company does what it calls a "metabolic reset," which is designed to each person's biology

Trying to lose weight is miserable: most of have done it at one point or another, but nobody likes doing it and, worst of all, it rarely works. We keep trying the same things over and over, and most of the time, if we lose any weight at all, it just comes right back anyway. While hundreds of billions of dollars a year are spent battling weight issues, Americans still gain one to pounds per person every year.

That's why Calibrate, a company that launched on Wednesday with Redesign Health, is offering a new way to help people lose weight: by doing what it calls a "metabolic reset," and offering all of its services through telemedicine.

"Society tells us that obesity is a lifestyle choice, a matter of calorie-counting and willpower. But science shows us it’s more complicated. Decades of clinical research tell us that sustainable results are driven not by diets, but by holistic improvements to underlying metabolic health," Isabelle Kenyon, the company's founder and CEO, told me.  

"The gap between need and care is also jaw-dropping: 175 million American adults are overweight, yet we only have 4,000 obesity-board certified doctors. These doctors have been effectively practicing weight loss medicine for decades through a combination of metabolic medications and lifestyle coaching. They can treat thousands of patients, but they have been unable to scale to millions."

What does Calibrate offers is a digital metabolic reset designed for each person's biology, combining metabolic medication prescribed through telemedicine and one-on-one video coaching. A metabolic reset, as defined on Calibrate's website, "is a whole-body reset that sets up every part of your system to have a healthy response to food, sleep, exercise, and emotional triggers." 

"Calibrate is personalized to your biology, your goals, and your life for a 10 percent weight loss that delivers success beyond the scale, whole-body health, from reduced disease risk to improved day-to-day energy and mood. Our program is built on the latest weight health science, and is vetted and approved by our world-class Clinical Advisory Board," said Kenyon.

To use Calibrate, members have to complete a comprehensive health assessment and have a full set of metabolic lab markers drawn. They then visit with their Calibrate doctor by video, and begin regular video visits with their coach to move through a one-year plan to make tiny tweaks to the way they eat, sleep, exercise, and manage their emotional health.

Along with its launch, the company, which has been running a friends and family program for the three weeks or so, also announced that it raised $5.1 million from Forerunner Ventures.

The new funding will be used, in part, to expand geographically; Calibrate is currently available in New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania. The company will also use the funding to "refine the product experience to drive outcomes for our early access members," Kenyon said.

In the end, she told me, the company's ultimate mission is to change the way the world treats weight by "pioneering metabolic health to put people in control of their health."

"Calibrate is bringing decades of proven science to everyone, everywhere so our members can be in control of their health. The weight loss industry has been focusing on the number on the scale, but the science tells us it’s more complicated. Sustainable results are driven not by diets, but by metabolic health. So our program combines what’s proven to achieve it: metabolic medication and coaching on food, sleep, exercise, and emotional health habits," said Kenyon.

"The result is sustainable weight loss and success beyond the scale, whole-body health, from reduced disease risk to improved day-to-day. Weight doesn’t reflect willpower. It reflects your metabolic system. It’s time we treat it that way."

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