New app helps heart patients tackle the underlying cause of their conditions
Hartford HealthCare’s Lifestyle Medicine program recently launched Diet ID™, the evidence-based nutritional wellness toolkit to objectively measure and improve the nutritional quality of patients. The Diet ID platform will play a vital role in helping patients reverse chronic disease as part of the program’s personalized, goal-oriented approach.
One in six American adults suffers from at least one chronic disease related to lifestyle, including diet. Lifestyle Medicine’s goal is to reverse the progression of disease and restore optimal health by empowering people to make achievable and lasting changes.
Hartford Healthcare’s lifestyle medicine providers will use dietary assessment data, powered by Diet ID, to instantly discover and understand how and what each patient eats, as well as guide each patient’s health journey with a establishment of targeted and personalized objectives. Then, to support the gradual change in habits, patients will participate in the daily actions of Diet ID, a weekly program of simple but effective micro-challenges and educational content that will help them not only respect, but also enjoy their new eating habits. .
“Diet ID is effective and takes only minutes, can be repeated to track progress, and has been validated to correlate with changes in metabolic parameters,” said Steven Borer, DO, FACC, cardiologist at Hartford HealthCare’s Heart. and Vascular Institute, under which the program operates. “It is unique in design and unlike many other diet programs, it is not available for purchase by individual consumers.”
Borer has a patient he’s been treating for several years for blood pressure and cholesterol issues. Based on brief conversations they’ve had over the years regarding the man’s diet, Borer believed his patient was quite conscientious with his food. To better help the patient, it has been formally assessed under the Lifestyle Medicine program where Diet ID is used as an initial assessment of diet quality.
With Hartford HealthCare’s recent decision to partner with Diet ID, an evidence-based nutritional wellness toolkit that objectively measures a person’s nutritional quality, both physician and patient were surprised.
The app uses a series of images to help the patient identify the foods that make up their diet, providing a quick and accurate assessment of the person’s eating habits. For example, lots of fruits and vegetables versus lots of coffee and sweets; processed foods versus fresh foods. At the end, Diet ID provides a score from 1 to 10, with 1 being the most unhealthy diet and 10 being the healthiest.
This patient got a two.
“We were both shocked,” Borer said. “I told him, I thought you would have at least been a six. He thought so too. But it turned out that his diet was heavier in processed and fatty foods than the patient even realized.
The Lifestyle Medicine program created a personalized eating plan and presented her with a series of challenges. Since that first score, the patient has followed dietary advice, lost 13 pounds in seven weeks, and had his blood pressure medications reduced. There have been no new blood tests, but Borer expects similar good news when it comes to his cholesterol.
“In lifestyle medicine, the philosophy is that 80 to 90 percent of what we see in chronic disease is lifestyle-related,” Borer said. “High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers can all be linked to nutrition, exercise, stress and substance use, to name a few. . The medical community has generally oriented towards necessary medications and procedures, but we also need to address these underlying lifestyle issues in order to better treat our patients.
“We want to meet the patient where they are and help them make small but achievable changes to improve the underlying causes of their condition,” Borer said. “Diet ID is a great tool for this. Our program is still young, but we hope to one day show that patients referred to our program will have better overall health with lower care costs.
Diet ID was created by David Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM, an expert in lifestyle and preventative medicine. Katz is the founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center at Yale University, past president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, founder/president of the True Health Initiative.