Marty’s Corner: Going Mobile – It’s Not Just for Millenials
Needless to say, I travel a lot for my job and as a result, I have every possible travel-related app loaded on my smartphone – airline apps, hotel apps, rental car apps, and even a “white noise” app, for when my hotel room is too quiet or when other guests are too noisy. When on a flight, I used to haul out my laptop to check email, but now I find it much simpler to do so on my phone. When I’m trying to locate my favorite soup, salad, & sandwich restaurant, I simply log into its app and allow it to determine my location. I even have an app that’s a bubble leveler, one that’s a pitch pipe, and one for submitting complaints about excessive helicopter noise! More and more consumers are using health-related apps to track fitness, nutrient intake, or their medical history. The number of apps available now related to food, nutrition, and health is staggering.
In a recent article published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics1, the Academy’s Consumer Health Informatics Work Group conducted a survey of Academy members regarding their use and recommendation of mobile apps. It’s no surprise that more than 83 percent of respondents indicated that they recommend apps to their clients related to nutrition, food, and physical activity. As the tech-savvy population ages, the comfort with, and expectation of the availability of technology, especially in a mobile form, will no doubt increase. Retirees are using social media to keep up with their friends and families, so when they are admitted to the hospital, they will no doubt expect to continue using technology.
The tech-savvy patient will expect his or her hospital room television to be much more than a place to watch TV programs. Adding the ability to make menu selections via this “edutainment” system will no doubt please and empower the patient, since they can make selections without depending on the assistance of others. If this option is not available for whatever reason, being greeted by a staff person with a tablet, ready to obtain their menu selections with a smile, will go a long way to help ensure patient satisfaction. Add to this the scanning of the patient’s wristband, not only to confirm his/her identify but also to ensure that the tray complies with the current diet order, will inspire confidence and help align with the patient’s perceptions regarding technology and its benefits.
- Sauceda A, Frederico C, Pellechia K, et al. Results of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ consumer health informatics work group’s 2015 member app technology survey. J Acad Nutr Diet; 2016:116(8), 1336-1338.
Article by: Marty Yadrick, MBI, MS, RDN, FAND - Director of Nutrition Informatics and former President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Fusion, 4th Quarter, 2016