Technologies for healthier living

Rick Weiss

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.

Tech Brief

Viocare’s VioScreen product, funded by NIH grants, is a web-based, HIPAA compliant, self-administered diet questionnaire that generates detailed analysis of a patient’s ninety-day dietary history in ~25 minutes. Users access the system before a visit with their healthcare provider. VioScreen provides the healthcare professional a comprehensive dietary history analysis report for improved efficiency and efficacy in dietary counseling. VioScreen reduces costs of personnel staffing by automating key dietetic counseling services with highly personalize recommendations to achieve meaningful and long-term changes. A semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, VioScreen evaluates a participant’s diet using approximately 160 questions representing 400 foods. Participants are shown a set of foods from which they select only foods consumed at least once a month over the past three months. For each food identified, the system prompts the user to select the frequency and portion size typically consumed, using 1,200 food portion size images. VioScreen uses complex branching technology for collecting preparation details. It generates reports on nutrient intake and food use patterns for a variety of clinical counseling. VioScreen generates personalized diet feedback through a Healthy Eating Index (HEI) gap analysis. HEI, a dietary quality score developed by the USDA, compares an individual’s diet to the US Dietary Guidelines. For each HEI subcomponent, VioScreen will present up to 3 specific dietary changes. Patients implement 3-4 changes to improve their diet quality by 5 points, resulting in a clinically and statistically significant lower risk and cost of chronic diseases that are linked to poor dietary habits.

Tech Differentiators

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, NAFLD, 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 and unique. 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. An improvement of 5 HEI units is statistically meaningful; it is approximately 0.5 of the standard deviation of HEI when measured in large, representative samples; and is a reasonable expectation for a moderately intensive, 12-week intervention; intervention studies report increases ranging from 3.5 for modest interventions to 7.7 for intensive interventions.


The best evidence of deliver as promised is the customer retention rate (a who’s who of healthcare) is over 90%. Some key customer stories about our success: 1. Ohio State University performed a validation study to confirm the high accuracy and usability of VioScreen. Results were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2. The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation performed a review of dietary assessment tools and selected VioScreen as one of two tools required for all cardiac rehab centers to use. 3. VioScreen has been the diet component of the Sharecare Ornish Lifestyle Program for over 9 years reaching over 10,000 cardiovascular patients reverse their disease. 4. Mayo Clinic has been using VioScreen since 2004. They are currently working to integrate it within their EPIC HMR and expand its use. Mayo Clinic dietitians report that the tool, for the first time, provides “concrete and actionable” recommendations for dietary change, resulting in direct patient behavior modification. 5. MD Anderson uses VioScreen as part of their cancer survivorship program to personalize recommendations to improve diet quality and lower risk of cancer reoccurrence. 6. The most significant sign of success is from a Geisinger independent study on approximately 200 hypertensive patients to determine the health impact of VioScreen on their condition. Preliminary results show that over a 12-week period, subjects’ systolic blood pressure dropped almost 7 points and weight decreased 11 pounds! Incredibly significant results from using VioScreen, without any additional medication or clinician interaction

Why Us

As healthcare moves to outcomes-based, providers are adopting a holistic approach. With nutrition a key driver of healthy outcomes, Viocare strives for EVERY Healthcare Professional to be EMPOWERED TO INCLUDE PERSONALIZED NUTRITION COUNSELING IN THEIR CARE MODEL. We are making a difference in a critical part of healthcare, prevention.

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