Today we are excited to have a blog contribution from Catherine Frederico, award-winning dietitian who among many other accomplishments has held several positions within the Academy, including within the Consumer Health Informatics Work Group.In 2013, Catherine received the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Mary Abbott Hess Award for innovation in food and culinary education. A former professor, Catherine is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and leader in mobile health, electronic health records for private practice dietitians, consumer informatics, and educational technology. Follow her work on LinkedIn and on Twitter, and check out her sites NutritionVision.info and AppyLiving.com.
Whether you are a tech early adopter or still using pencil and paper, you have most likely noticed that most everyone on the street, in restaurants, on campus, shopping, and at work is using a cellphone. Wikipedia reports US cellphone saturation rate is 100%. According to the May 23, 2016MobiHealthNews blog, about 72% of Americans have smartphones. There are nearly 2 billion smartphones worldwide. Last week at Apple’s annual developer’s conference, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO announced that there are over 2 million apps in the App Store with over 130 billion downloads. The youngest developer in the audience was a nine year old girl.
It is pretty clear that consumer adoption of technology is here to stay, which is why it is so important for health professionals to learn how it is changing healthcare. Consumers are using apps to track food intake, steps, sleep, blood sugars, and food expiration dates. They are snapping photos of meals, grocery market foods, and cooking adventures. They are accessing their medical records,reading health articles, getting daily health messages, and following photo boards of food groups.
All of these cellphone and web applications, and many more, are of interest to dietitians and their clients. Not only is it important to know how to use many smart devices and applications, dietitians must also be able to collect data and understand the analytical findings to apply to a science-based practice. Keeping up with daily health tech news, blogs, conferences, and outcomes research is a must. Take advantage of a growing body of nutrition tech resources, including a nutrition tech webinar series produced by Healthie and Frederico Arts LLC. The introductory Primer is available on YouTube. Also, using an electronic health record, like Healthie, will streamline your practice, offer current functionality, and will help you stay connected with clients.