Welltory Founder Jane Smorodnikova on Importance of Health and Fitness Apps

Welltory Founder Jane Smorodnikova on Importance of Health and Fitness Apps

Interview by Ricardo Esteves
Published: February 08, 2023

Who Is Jane Smorodnikova

Jane Smorodnikova is the founder and CEO of Welltory. She’s known as a visionary entrepreneur and a leader in the health and wellness industry. With her expertise in AI, neurophysiology, and biohacking, Jane has established Welltory as one of the most popular and highly rated health apps available on the market, with over 6 million users and growing 300% annually.

With increasing sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy eating habits and high-stress levels, our physical and mental well-being is at risk. Fortunately, fitness apps have come to our rescue, providing us with the convenience, motivation and accountability to stay on track with our fitness goals.

One well-known app in this space is Welltory, which has gained recognition for its use of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) to track a range of health-related metrics, including focus, energy, and stress. With six million downloads in over 130 countries, the app has gained widespread recognition for its accuracy and compatibility with a variety of devices and software.

In this interview with Welltory's co-founder and CEO, Jane Smorodnikova, we delve into the science behind Heart Rate Variability measurement, explore the growth and success of the app, and consider the future of wellness technology.

Spotlight: Congratulations on achieving six million app downloads! How did you market the app to achieve such a milestone?

Jane Smorodnikova: At Welltory, we understand the importance of growth loops in achieving success.

Our strategy for reaching six million users was simple but effective. We leveraged the power of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to drive new installs and increase our visibility. As more users joined the app and showed their satisfaction, it resulted in an increase in revenue and better ratings, which in turn helped us climb up the search positions on the App Store and attract even more free installs.

We continuously invest a portion of our revenue in acquiring new users to keep the growth loop going. Think of it like a snowball rolling down a hill, gathering more and more snow as it goes. Our app is the snowball, and our users are the snow. We start with a few users, and as we get more, our app grows bigger and bigger.

That's why advertising on Facebook and Twitter is crucial. It creates ripples that reach far and wide, giving you the opportunity to get more installs and generate more revenue.

Don't wait for users to come to you - take action and start advertising on these platforms.

Welltory's logo on a white background.

Can you tell us how does Welltory differ from other healthcare apps?

Welltory distinguishes itself through its personalized approach to health and wellness. Rather than simply presenting data and figures in a database like Apple Health, Welltory offers tailored insights and a human touch.

To achieve this level of personalization, we tackled the major challenge of collecting and processing large amounts of data. Like Netflix and Spotify, we have invested years in collecting and analyzing user data to develop advanced algorithms that understand the individual user and provide personalized recommendations.

While there are numerous niche wellness apps for specific areas, such as meditation or fitness, Welltory offers a comprehensive, all-in-one health app with a holistic approach. We provide support for a wide range of health concerns, including sports, health, sleep, stress, and more.

In contrast to data aggregators like Apple Health and Cardiogram, Welltory does not merely collect data and display it in charts or trend analysis. Instead, we convert data into meaningful insights and provide personalized recommendations and careful touch.

Moreover, we go beyond tracking biomarkers data by integrating data on online activity, wearables, geo-tracking, music, and more. Our algorithms are trained on a rich dataset that covers many aspects of human behavior, physical and intellectual performance, and health.

At Welltory, our focus is on preventative health, keeping users fulfilled and providing early interventions should health concerns arise. We go beyond mere data collection to offer a truly personalized approach to health and wellness.

How accurate are the results of Welltory’s Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and what are its benefits?

Welltory's Heart Rate Variability (HRV) results are highly accurate, as supported by independent evidence. The HRV algorithms of Welltory are based on the largest database of user feedback, which enables the continuous improvement and refinement of these algorithms.

The company utilizes world-class photoplethysmography (PPG) technology with a phone camera, which is a non-invasive method for measuring HRV and has been found to be effective in numerous scientific studies.

HRV measurements can be also done with wearable technology. Studies such as those published in the MDPI Sensors Journal and Science Direct have confirmed the accuracy of Welltory's HRV algorithms.

In the study published in MDPI Sensors, the results showed that the HRV data obtained from Welltory was highly accurate and provided a valid representation of the HRV of the participants. Similarly, the study published in Science Direct confirmed the accuracy of Welltory's HRV algorithms and their ability to accurately measure HRV in real-time.

The benefits of accurate HRV measurement are numerous. By accurately measuring HRV, Welltory is able to provide users with personalized insights and recommendations on how to improve their physical and mental well-being.

HRV is a powerful tool for monitoring stress levels, detecting changes in physical fitness, and tracking the effects of various interventions such as exercise, meditation, and sleep. Additionally, accurate HRV measurement can also help individuals identify early signs of underlying health problems, allowing them to seek medical attention in a timely manner.

The University of Coimbra in Portugal has done research using your HRV as an early prediction for COVID-19. Could you tell us more about how your app can detect such symptoms?

The research conducted by the University of Coimbra in Portugal used HRV as an early prediction for COVID-19. HRV reflects the state of the organism and can provide early warning signals if something is not right. It is not a diagnostic tool, but it can indicate potential health issues, including COVID-19.

According to an article published by Welltory, HRV has been used as an alternative at-home test for the coronavirus. The article highlights the benefits of HRV for health monitoring, and how it can be used to detect symptoms of the virus early on.

While Welltory cannot diagnose other health conditions, its results may indicate underlying problems. What types of diseases other than COVID could Welltory potentially help identify?

HRV alone cannot diagnose any health conditions, but it is a useful tool in detecting signs of underlying problems. At Welltory, we enhance HRV by tracking over 100 different sources of data related to a person's behavior, well-being, and even biometric data like blood pressure, glucose, and so on.

Our app combines HRV with this additional data to provide a comprehensive view of a person's health. In general, Welltory can help identify that something goes wrong with the person’s overall health.

Currently, we are exploring the potential of HRV to detect the early signs of different clusters of diseases, including depression, and the first results are promising.

Drawing of three people working out.
Welltory can be used to track your health stats.

Having a lot of useful medical features, what percentage of your users are healthcare professionals?

We don't have specific data on this aspect as we do not collect information about the profession of our users.

However, we do have some insights on the usage of Welltory by medical professionals and healthcare staff. Based on testimonials and feedback from our users, we estimate that around 5% of our users use Welltory's results to show their data to their doctors.

Additionally, we also know that approximately 1-2% of our users have received recommendations about Welltory from their doctors. While Welltory is primarily focused on health monitoring, it does provide valuable insights that can be used in the medical field.

In order to support the use of Welltory by medical professionals and researchers, we offer the sharing of raw data and biomarkers with the user's sharing consent. This allows healthcare professionals and scientists to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the user's health and well-being.

How do you plan to grow this number?

Our aim is to provide our users with the best possible experience and ensure they receive the right care when they need it. Currently, we are in consultation with various telehealth companies to find beneficial passes that would give us an opportunity to provide our users with medical consultations in different fields.

For example, if our algorithms detect early warning signs of heart health problems, we can recommend our users see a cardiologist. Similarly, if the user shows signs of depression, we can advise them to consult a therapist through one of our partner's apps.

Our goal is to provide the right care at the right time and to ensure our users' health is monitored closely and consistently.

What can we hope to see from Welltory and its health-monitoring technology in the future?

Welltory's mission is to help people understand their health and wellbeing better, and to give them the tools to manage it proactively. In the future, we hope to see our technology playing an increasingly important role in this.

First and foremost, we are working on enhancing our sports and sleep domains. We have already developed new algorithms to help athletes manage their training progress and to avoid overtraining.

Additionally, we are working on AI-generated personalized sleeping content to help people sleep better.

Another important development is that we are excited to explore is a potential partnership with a telehealth cardiology company. This will allow us to connect our users who are experiencing symptoms or warning signs with medical professionals.

We aim to support people with chronic conditions and help them navigate their health more effectively. We are already communicating with partners who can help us in this mission. In addition to these specific initiatives, we will continue to develop deeper support for people with chronic conditions.

We feel the demand of our users to help them if something goes wrong, and we want to be a provider of such a support.

Whether it's helping people sleep better, train smarter, or navigate their health more effectively, Welltory is dedicated to helping people live their best lives.

Thank you for your time, Jane Smorodnikova. Best of luck to you and Welltory!

Keep up with Welltory on Instagram and read about other successful businesses here.

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