Trialling digital nutrition for complex chronic conditions

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As part of a new study that will be conducted through the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, Queensland, people living with complex chronic medical conditions will be given access to digital nutrition support to assist with the management of their conditions.

Given the important role that diet plays in the management of chronic health conditions such as kidney and liver disease, the U-Decide study will investigate the impact of integrating technology and telehealth options for accessing specialist dietitian support and nutrition information.

Digital nutrition support for patients in the study will be provided by Sophus Nutrition.

“Sophus Nutrition has worked closely with dietitians at the Princess Alexandra Hospital to develop a digital nutrition education program specifically to support this cohort of patients,” says Sophus CEO, Tara Diversi.

“The Sophus app is an easy-to-use platform that delivers regular bite-sized content, including videos online to help patients manage their chronic disease.

“The online educational program will be complemented by support through targeted SMS messages, including tips on diet and exercise for six months of the study.”

‘U-Decide’ your nutrition service

Lead researcher, Dr Ingrid Hickman says that one of the unique aspects of the study is incorporating patient choice into how nutrition services are delivered at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, “rather than a ‘one-size-fits all’ approach”.

“We are really interested to know if offering more choice in how patients can engage with our specialist dietitians leads to improvements in diet quality and effective treatment of metabolic complications in complex chronic conditions,” says Dr Hickman.

“Using Sophus’ technology we’ll be able to analyse data around engagement and consumer preference to help shape the way we support our chronic disease patients into the future.”

Additional sessions to complement the digital support

An exercise program and face to face group sessions will complement the Sophus digital nutrition support as part of the trial.

The study is hoping to recruit up to 200 patients, with the first cohort having started the program at the end of October.

The U-Decide study is jointly funded by Queensland Health, the Health Practitioners Research Fund, and the PA Hospital Research Support Scheme.

For more information about Sophus Nutrition, visit: sophus.com.au.