In general women are not receiving adequate nutrition education during pregnancy, according to a 2014 study published in the journal Maternal Child Health. Although healthcare practitioners perceive nutrition education to be important, barriers to providing education include lack of time, lack of resources and lack of relevant training.
Israel-based Nutrino and IBM are coming to the rescue with the newly launched Nutrino App Powered by Watson (Nutrino App) to provide expectant mothers with real-time science-based, personalized and contextual nutrition advice. The application, available for iPhone users only (Android version coming soon), does its magic by combining Nutrino's nutrition insights platform with Watson's natural language capability to offer personalized meal recommendations and round-the-clock nutritional support.
"Healthy eating – a challenge at any point in our lives – becomes that much more daunting during pregnancy, when a mom-to-be's nutritional needs can fluctuate week to week," said Yaron Hadad, PhD. co-founder and chief science officer at Nutrino. "The Nutrino App Powered by Watson helps women navigate through a trove of available nutrition information and offers recommendations responsive to a women's changing needs throughout her pregnancy."
A woman using the Nutrino App inputs her pregnancy status, individual health goals, dietary needs, food preferences, eating habits, and data collected automatically such as wearable device data on exercise, sleep and stress. She can then choose from a list of common nutrition questions specific to different stages of pregnancy, such as:
- Is it ok to eat eggs during my first trimester?
- Do I need to eat differently if I'm having Twins? Triplets?
- Can I drink coffee?
- What should I eat to help with heartburn in my third trimester?
The Nutrino app does its magic by combining Nutrino's nutrition insights platform with Watson's natural language processing capabilities.IBM Watson in the backend derives answers from the data stored in the Nutrino insight platform — which currently includes more than 500,000 foods and 100,000 sources — and compares it against the individuals' self-reported information. The app will leverage Watson's deep learning capability to increasingly tailor the responses to each woman over time, based on the questions she asks and her self-reported data.
"The Nutrino App has the potential to help a woman get the precise nutrition information she seeks, when she needs it," noted Dr. Kyu Rhee, chief health officer for IBM Watson Health. "Speaking as a doctor, I hope women also use the Watson-powered Nutrino app to prompt a conversation with their physician about eating well during pregnancy."