Technologies for healthier living

Tech Brief

VioScreen is an impactful digital solution that delivers evidence-based therapeutic lifestyle interventions to patients with chronic diseases linked to poor dietary habits, such as those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, IBS, kidney failure, and cancer. By helping patients attain better diet habits, better health outcomes are achieved through the reduction to the risk of secondary events for those with chronic conditions and prevention of disease by those at higher risk. Dietary behavioral change is very difficult to achieve and typically requires an intensive and expensive labor effort, typically with the use of dietitians. VioScreen’s use of food portion size pictures and its personalized nutrition feedback engine are very innovative. VioScreen’s automated dietary behavioral feedback that uses highly personalize recommendations is achieving meaningful and long-term changes. VioScreen generates automated personalized nutrition counseling based on using a dietary quality score, the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) dietary pattern analysis. Improving a patient’s health by 5 points is accomplished by using the HEI score to identify highly personalized food recommendations. An improvement of 5 HEI units is clinically meaningful; it predicts a 4-6% decrease in overall mortality and a 15% decrease in the prevalence of obesity in adults. The Geisinger Principal Investigator (study described below) stated in his study paper “the magnitude of the improvements in BP were substantial, similar to a BP medication, and in line with much more resource-intensive feeding studies and lifestyle intervention trials.” The VioScreen superpower is an ability for substantial health changes with little to no provider labor costs.

Problem Tech Solves

Poor dietary habits have plagued the US, resulting in increasing rates of obesity and other diet-related comorbidities, such as hypertension. Primary care physicians have repeatedly reported that their patients would benefit from nutrition counseling; however, lack of time, inadequate reimbursement, and insufficient formal training in nutritional counseling remain key barriers. Although dietitians have the training necessary to help patients with diet-related chronic disease most primary care offices are unable to employ dietitians primarily due to limited reimbursement. Unfortunately, helping patients improve their diet remains a costly labor-intensive effort which makes it rarely used in primary care and limits its implementation. Technology has the capacity to reduce costs of personnel staffing by automating key dietetic counseling services with highly personalize recommendations to achieve meaningful and long-term changes. The challenge we are solving is creating impactful digital solutions that deliver evidence-based therapeutic interventions to patients to achieve better health outcomes by supporting lifestyle changes such as improved diets to reduce the risk of secondary events. Viocare provides a low cost, low burden, but accurate method to collect the dietary history of an individual and deliver concrete, actionable, and personalized food for dietary change that results in long term diet improvement and better health. We believe a system needs to be in place that automates many of the dietitian’s functions and works with providers to utilize their professional staff to “manage” patients and improve their health. Viocare’s personalized nutrition assessment technology has helped individuals improve their diet and reduce chronic disease.


VioScreen has been used in hundreds of studies so far. Two VioScreen studies are summarized: 1.Ohio State University evaluated VioScreen for accuracy. Seventy-four subjects completed VioScreen, six 24-hour dietary recalls over the next 12 weeks, followed by a second VioScreen. Intakes of energy, macronutrients, and 17 micronutrients/food components were estimated from VioScreen and the mean of all recalls. The correlation coefficients between the recalls and VioScreen for fat, carbohydrate, protein, and alcohol were 0.82, 0.79, 0.67, and 0.90, respectively, demonstrating a jump in accuracy from current alternative tools of this type. A usability survey results include: 99% of subjects would take VioScreen if asked by a doctor and 93% rated VioScreen as either great or excellent. 2.A Geisinger study measured the impact of VioScreen personalized food feedback on 187 hypertensive patients. This 12-week study had two arms: self-guided option; dietitian telehealth option. Both completed VioScreen and received the personalized food feedback report. The telehealth arm received weekly calls with a dietitian who used motivational interviewing. The dietitian arm had almost a 7 point drop in BP, 11 pounds weight loss, and HEI score increase of 9.2 points. The self-direct arm had almost a 5 point drop in BP, 8.6 pounds weight loss, and increase in HEI of 6.4. The magnitude of the improvements in BP were substantial, similar to a BP medication, and in line with much more resource-intensive feeding studies and lifestyle intervention trials. Viocare is working with Geisinger to assess the economic impact of these results.