Smart Phone Apps from Dietitians of Canada Improve Access to Dietitians
  • Dietitians of Canada, with support from the Public Health Agency of Canada as well as corporate partners, developed and launched two free smart phone apps in 2014. These two apps, Cookspiration™and eaTracker®,were specifically designed to support and complement the work of dietitians, improving access to dietitians and our evidence-based nutrition information. Dietitians of Canada’s first app, eatipster®, was launched in 2012.
     
    Finding better ways for the public to access dietitians remains a key priority for Dietitians of Canada. Smart phone apps are a new and novel way to help the public access dietitians and our credible healthy eating messages.
     
    Cookspiration™ (www.cookspiration.com) was launched as a component of the National Nutrition Month 2014 campaign. The theme of the campaign was “Simply cook and enjoy!” and encouraged Canadians to prepare meals at home from minimally processed ingredients. The app suggests recipes based on time-of-day and situation and includes over 300 recipes, nutrition information and tips written by registered dietitians.  The app, available on both iOS and Android platforms, has been downloaded by over 90,000 users and was named as a “Best New App” by Apple and was a finalist for a Canadian award that acknowledges innovative initiatives that contribute to improved eating habits. The website version of the app provides access to those who do not have a smart phone. The app helps dietitians to efficiently recommend recipes to clients and can be used during counselling sessions to teach skills such as recipe selection, interpretation of nutrition information, recipe modification etc.
     
    The eaTracker® app was developed as a complement to an existing web platform (www.eatracker.ca). The app allows users to track their intake and activity, set and track goals and receive feedback. Feedback on food intake and activity is based on national guidelines.  A unique feature of the app is the option to interface with their dietitian directly via the “coach” feature. This feature provides an efficient means for a dietitian to monitor their client’s progress, flag potential issues and provide motivation remotely. 
     
     


    eaTipster®, the first app we developed, is a simple, fun app that pushes out a healthy eating tip everyday at a time that the user would prefer to be notified - as they start their day, mid-afternoon etc. Users can save their favourite tips and send them to a friend. Details at www.eatipster.ca
     
    Kate Comeau
    Public Relations and Media
    Dietitians of Canada
    kate.comeau@dietitians.ca