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LK 120
Online strategies for managing chronic illness in China
LK 120
Online strategies for managing chronic illness in China
HealthSolutions.cn
1. Doctors are under siege. Doctors may see 100-200 patients/day. They are known to supplement their meager income by ordering unnecessary tests and medicines.2. Our research showed that patients often... Read more

Description

1. Doctors are under siege. Doctors may see 100-200 patients/day. They are known to supplement their meager income by ordering unnecessary tests and medicines.

2. Our research showed that patients often wait hours in lengthy queues for a cursory consultation that they do not understand. Health literacy is low. Violence against doctors is all too common.
China faces multiple medical catastrophes:

  • 114 million have diabetes
  • 493 million have prediabetes
  • 267 million have hypertension
  • 150 million have major depression
  • 27% of global cancer deaths are in China

Decaying dietary and lifestyle habits (68% of Chinese men smoke) have exacerbated these crises.

3. A strategy of empowering patients through a nutrition intervention is well suited to China. The link between food and health is embedded in traditional Chinese culture, where food choices are seen as healing or disruptive to health. Patients desire to reduce or stop usage of medicine in order to restore ‘balance’ to their health, while food is considered the ideal healing method.

Patients often ask doctors “tell me what to eat to control my illness”. Unfortunately doctors do not have the time or knowledge needed to address nutrition questions and there is a dearth of dieticians.

4. Over half of Chinese own smartphones, which makes it feasible to use digital applications to collect and deliver nutrition data and advice.

WeChat, China’s app-of-apps, combines the features of Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Instagram. WeChat’s 570 million daily active users message friends, play games, book travel, post their photos, and read news.

5. Zhi Hui (Healing Wisdom) Intelligent Therapeutics is a Shanghai-based personalized medicine company. Zhi Hui’s app provides patients with personalized nutrition plans. These plans are generated from machine learning, using lifestyle and laboratory data collected from the app and in collaboration with hospital data.

6. From Insight to Feature
Insight 1 – Food planning is a family event, not an individual effort.
Feature 1 – Our algorithms provide meal plans for multiple family members (our current focus is on metabolic syndrome).

Insight 2 – Patients won’t input their nutrition data without receiving something of immediate value in return.
Feature 2 – The apps’s home page is driven by an advanced gamification and health feedback engine that provides personalized feedback to the patient.

Insight 3 – Patients sorely lack reliable information on chronic disease. Their adult children want to identify helpful articles on chronic illness so they may share them, via WeChat, with their parents.
Feature 3 – Our app contains a knowledge center consisting of articles written or curated by professional nutritionists and doctors. These articles are shareable via WeChat.

Insight 4 – 150 million suffer from untreated major depression.
Feature 4 – We have integrated mental health education and depression screening tools into the app.

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