Technology is Changing Nutritional Care

OD-BK725_FIXER_8U_20160621155732We are sharing a series of posts about how dietitians can leverage technology in their care. We believe that no matter where and how RDs practice, technology can be an important asset.

After all, technology is changing nutritional care. We look forward to seeing how you use technology in a clinical, outpatient, retail, community or private practice setting.

The dietetics industry is rapidly evolving. Technology available to RDs is undoubtedly accelerating the pace of this change. It seems like every day we learn about a new iPhone app, smart tool, software platform, or website that offers consumers and their healthcare professionals a way to stay in touch. You can track workouts, log food, or read something new about nutrition at your fingertips.

It’s not too surprising that technology is rapidly making its way into dietetics practice, given the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases related to nutrition. The impact of nutrition on overall health is clearly evident. Can you believe there are already over 200,000 tools available on the market today?

Technology available to dietitians goes far beyond using social media as a marketing vehicle for your practice or brand. Additionally, the technology available can be much more powerful than leveraging a couple of apps to have clients electronically record food journals (though we are a fan of that too).

Technology can fundamentally re-shape the way that dietitians connect with their clients, find new clients, and contribute to positive care outcomes.

So, how is nutritional care changing as a result of technology?

Here are a few examples of how technology is changing nutritional care:

  • In addition to recommending standard kitchen tools, dietitians can offer clients tools like smart scales and smart plates. These new kitchen gadgets can obtain information that is automatically uploaded to an electronic portal. This improves adherence and compliance to meal plans, and also makes it easier than ever to measure progress with time.
  • Dietitians in community settings can recommend free electronic resources (apps, websites, and more) with credible educational materials to support a healthy lifestyle.

Related: Learn About the Significance of Technology in Underserved Communities

  • Corporate wellness dietitians can leverage “gamification apps” to create healthy competitions in workplace settings to encourage healthy living
  • Nutrition providers can connect with their clients in between appointments through electronic food journals, messaging apps, and client-provider portals, like Healthie. This means there’s continuity of care in between appointments. Plus, clients build closer relationships with their nutrition providers and clients are more likely to adhere to recommendations.
  • Nutrition providers in private practice can leverage EHR and practice management software to reduce the time they spend on back-office tasks like scheduling, billing and charting, which means they can spend more time seeing clients and building their businesses.

This is just the tip of the iceberg! There are dozens of other ways technology is changing the way nutrition professionals practice. If you’ve been a dietitian for 30 years or 30 days, you can incorporate technology in care. When used properly, technology can make patient care more efficient and effective. We encourage you to think about how you can include technology in your care.

If you have any questions about the types of technology available to nutrition professionals, or could use some advice on how to integrate technology into your care, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with us!

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