98% of individuals with chronic digestive conditions who participated in a program integrating a digital digestive health platform with video or phone counseling by registered dietitians (RDs) reported improvements in their symptoms and quality of life, according to a Vivante Health study being presented at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) that begins in Denver this weekend.
In addition, 88% of study participants reported that the program enabled them to identify a new food, lifestyle or emotional trigger for their digestive issues, and 3% received a previously unknown digestive-related diagnosis through their interactions with the program’s registered dietitians and/or RD referrals to physicians. Participating dietitians received a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 92, indicating users’ exceptional level of satisfaction with the service.
The study was recognized by FNCE for its effective use of telenutrition, one of the change drivers that the organization’s Council on Future Practice has recognized for its ability to shape the future of the nutrition and dietetics profession. It is also one of just seven of the 256 posters on display at FNCE that was selected to be discussed at the 11:45 am FNCE Future Practice Abstracts Poster Presentations session next Monday, October 9.
“Nearly one in four Americans suffers from chronic digestive problems, yet most lack access to registered dietitians who specialize in these conditions, know how to help clients pinpoint triggers that may aggravate their digestive issues, and are able to recommend specialty diets that can alleviate their symptoms,” said Erin K. Commons, MS, RDN, principal study author and Vice President of Care Management at Vivante Health. “This study validates the potential of remote RD counseling to provide equitable access to quality care that can make a profound difference in people’s lives.”
The study involved 298 commercially insured participants who enrolled in Vivante’s GIThrive digital digestive health program as an employment benefit. Participants met with their assigned Vivante RD every two to six weeks for up to 30 minutes by video or phone for evidence-based medical nutrition therapy (MNT) and nutrition counseling. Participants also had access to the GIThrive app’s nutrition and lifestyle educational content and, when applicable, tracked their food, symptom and stooling pattern in the app.
Clinical progress was evaluated using a patient-reported survey administered after patients met with their RD for at least one month. Care satisfaction was measured with a post-appointment survey to provide a Net Promoter Score.
“Every person with a chronic digestive health issue faces an array of challenges, from the difficulty of diagnosing and addressing the problem to the toll it takes on their daily activities. Technology has opened the door to new ways of assisting these people, but apps alone cannot do the job,” said Bill Snyder, CEO of Vivante Health. “As this study shows, integrating the app experience with remote RD consultations offers a solution that can not only achieve significant clinical outcomes but also reach millions of people who otherwise would have to continue suffering in silence.”