“The vision of HealthifyMe is to ‘healthify’ a billion lives, and that kind of scale is impossible without tech at its core. New Relic allows us to do this by offering complete visibility, enabling us to scale our systems based on how traffic is moving, without compromising on performance, cost, or the customer experience. Additionally, New Relic dashboards and visualisation tools are very useful to showcase our performance to leadership teams.”

Abhijit Khasnis
Vice President of Technology

Founded in 2012 in Bengaluru, India, HealthifyMe is a revolutionary health and fitness app that is on a mission to transform a billion lives using the power of AI and human empathy. The app is changing how people stay fit, eat clean, and build a lasting and healthy lifestyle. With over 35 million downloads and 1500-plus nutrition, fitness, and yoga coaches, HealthifyMe has carved out a niche in South East Asia, and is looking to conquer the global market. It also has a B2B wing through which it connects with over 100 companies across India to deliver employee wellness solutions.

Creating a health-conscious India

Dosa, rajma chawal, puri sabzi, dhokla, and various other delectable offerings have long been a staple in most Indian households, but over the years, overindulgence of processed and other sugary foods have caused considerable damage to the community.

India is witnessing a rise in lifestyle-related diseases, with diabetes, hypertension, and obesity among the most common health issues affecting its population. According to market research firm IMARC, the number of people with diabetes in India will grow at a rate of 16.64 percent in the next five years; costing the economy US$7.7 billion by 2027.

HealthifyMe’s Abhijit Khasnis is well aware of the situation and has a laser-like focus in tackling some of the biggest health crises his country is facing.

A recent government health report reinforced his views and the findings came with a clear warning - Indians are getting increasingly unhealthy.

The National Family Health Survey for 2019-21, published in March 2022, is a comprehensive survey of households throughout India that provides state and national information on a number of areas including fertility, infant and child mortality, family planning, maternal and child health, reproductive health, and nutrition.

The 714-page report found that almost 23 percent of men and 24 percent of women had a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more, representing a 4 percent increase for both cohorts over the previous research period of 2015-16. Alarmingly, the report noted that 3.4 percent of children under five were overweight, compared with 2.1 percent in 2015-16.

This increase in higher BMIs, coupled with the impact of COVID-19, has fueled consumer demand for online health and wellness services.

As Vice President of Technology at Indian digital health and wellness company HealthifyMe, Abhijit strongly believes that with the right approach, creating a healthier nation, and world, is possible. 

“The world has more obese people than underweight people, and with obesity increasing the risk of noncommunicable diseases, this trend has created a tremendous burden on modern healthcare systems and economies,” says Abhijit.

“Our mission is to help address this growing healthcare challenge by empowering people to achieve their fitness goals through behaviour change”.

HealthifyMe’s apps and API infrastructure are designed to enable users to manage their weight and fitness through AI-enabled smart plans, instructions from a team of nutritionists and fitness experts, and through connected wearables, including continuous glucose monitors and other sensors. In 2018, HealthifyMe launched Ria, an AI chatbot, to identify the most effective diet plan for an individual; calling on millions of different variations to pinpoint the most effective plan for each user.

Its paid tier offering, HealthifyPro, officially launched in September 2022, and uses continual measurements to optimise health outcomes instead of solely relying on manual data input from users, and has been seamlessly deployed and scaled thanks to New Relic.

“Achieving the kind of scale associated with HealthifyMe’s rapid growth wouldn’t have been possible without New Relic. It has become a constant companion for the team as they handle growing customer volumes, and we have been able to confidently grow without affecting performance and cost,” says Abhijit.

Addressing gaps in pandemic healthcare

With health and wellness front of mind for many in India during the pandemic, HealthifyMe’s user base grew by a staggering 5 million during this period.

“The pandemic was a game changer for the health industry, and HealthifyMe witnessed a surge in downloads. As we were scaling our business and rapidly expanding our user base, we had to fix bottlenecks quickly to support our customers, which New Relic allowed us to do,” explains Abhijit.

HealthifyMe also helped to streamline COVID-19 vaccination bookings when the government rollout was launched for people in India under the age of 45. When booking slots were in short supply, the team built a feature called VaccinateMe that allowed people to find nearby vaccination slots with ease.

It generated 50 million vaccination notifications when slots were available, and around three million people were immunised because of the service, which scaled thanks to New Relic.

"Looking at our business and the way our product has been built over the years, it has always been about collecting data from users and sharing insights and feedback. Until recently, user inputs have been manual. However, with all our automated devices running, the data volume that we are expecting to process over the next couple of years is expected to grow exponentially. This is where New Relic comes in. It is the most important dial on my dashboard and my go-to tool to answer any questions related to systems performance."

Preparing for a spike of New Year resolutions

HealthifyMe’s peak periods are generally after Diwali, Christmas, and the New Year, so while the rest of the country was preparing to countdown to the end of 2021, the technology team was gearing up for one of its biggest spikes on record. During the first 36 hours of January 2022, HealthifyMe witnessed a two to three time spike in traffic, which caused tremendous system load. It looked to New Relic to cope with this demand.

On 1 January 2023, HealthifyMe continued to break records; hitting US$275,000 of revenue within the first 24 hours of the year, with one subscription being purchased every 50 seconds.

“New Relic allowed us to identify how different product features were impacting our monolithic systems. It helped us isolate problems at the service level, so we could see which particular feature was causing an increase in load and which ones were impacting the system. Today, we can actively look at any APIs that are degrading in performance and immediately alert our back-end teams. As we continue to add more features, we get instant alerts on what could be impacting performance, which we can then immediately prioritise,” explains Abhijit.

“Looking at our business and the way our product has been built over the years, it has always been about collecting data from users and sharing insights and feedback. Until recently, user inputs have been manual. However, with all our automated devices running, the data volume that we are expecting to process over the next couple of years is expected to grow exponentially. This is where New Relic comes in. It is the most important dial on my dashboard and my go-to tool to answer any questions related to systems performance,” he adds.

"New Relic is the meter that I use to represent engineering at the C-suite, which is why it’s so important to me. Performance obviously has a direct impact on our business, but with the current state of the market and a growing user base, getting our infrastructure costs under control has become critical. We have been able to reduce overall costs by 10% and grow performance by 10%, all the while tracking how any change is creating an impact. New Relic has helped us pinpoint what’s working and what isn’t."

Creating an ironclad technology team

With New Relic, HealthifyMe has been able to create a single source of truth based on real-time data; something that has been integral to enhancing developer productivity and creating a sense of ownership among its developers.

With enhanced system resilience and the ability to ensure peak demand performance, the technology team now spends more time developing new features instead of firefighting, and this has had a flow-on effect to accelerate application modernisation while improving user experience.

In addition to supporting the transformation of HealthifyMe’s DevOps team, New Relic has helped to break down team silos, and improve the Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) function. Access to data has been democratised, with dashboards created for both engineering and wider business functions.

“New Relic is the meter that I use to represent engineering at the C-suite, which is why it’s so important to me. Performance obviously has a direct impact on our business, but with the current state of the market and a growing user base, getting our infrastructure costs under control has become critical. We have been able to reduce overall costs by 10% and grow performance by 10%, all the while tracking how any change is creating an impact. New Relic has helped us pinpoint what’s working and what isn’t.

“The vision of HealthifyMe is to ‘healthify’ a billion lives, and that kind of scale is impossible without tech at its core. New Relic allows us to do this by offering complete visibility, enabling us to scale our systems based on how traffic is moving, without compromising on performance, cost, or the customer experience. Additionally, New Relic dashboards and visualisation tools are very useful to showcase our performance to leadership teams,” says Abhijit.

Looking forward, HealthifyMe plans to mature its observability footprint by leveraging New Relic’s advanced capabilities through its DataPlus offering, including vulnerability management.

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