Former SCRI Intern launches app to help better capture dietary information for pilot study on Celiac Disease
(WorldFrontNews Editorial):- Seattle, Washington Mar 30, 2023 (Issuewire.com) – With thousands of apps available to track nearly anything and everything, one area has remained behind: dietary recall. In the context of research, this has a significant impact on how quickly researchers can help find solutions to support those with complex medical issues they hope to resolve.
Born of an intern’s curiosity and an idea to elevate dietary research capture for the scientific community, an app, website & HIPAA compliant web service called myMedDiary was developed.
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The idea came to Sohrab while he was a student at the University of Washington (UW) and taking part in an internship with Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI). As a student of the information school (informatics) at UW, Sohrab worked in the Gastroenterology (GI) department assisting the medical director of clinical nutrition, Dr. Dale Lee, MSCE, and former chief of pediatric gastroenterology & hepatology, Dr. Karen F. Murray, to do a variety of data entry projects supporting research study data.
Dr. Lee assigned Sohrab a project that would lead him to develop the idea behind his company, Computing ReApplied (C-RA). The assignment was straightforward but time consuming: to copy and categorize the entirety of Safeway’s food database, including their nutritional values, one item at a time into an easily navigable spreadsheet. Sohrab was given several months to complete the project but juggling school, college life and an internship were becoming increasingly difficult. It was this pressure, however, that led Sohrab to his development.
Faced with time constraints, Sohrab spent the entirety of his winter break designing a web scraper that would convert nutritional data it recovered from the internet into an excel spreadsheet that served to manage nutritional values. Once built, the scraper completed the job within about 20 minutes as opposed to the previously anticipated one-year maximum timeline outlined by SCRI.
Beyond a web scraper, Sohrab had built interest in his project and eventually asked what the data was for. He learned that Dr. Lee was having challenges trying to pinpoint food additives that his patients were consuming. This observation led Sohrab on a journey to pursue more efficient ways for patients to log their food in real time. With patients logging their own data, existing databases could be combined with the web scraper resulting in more accurate accounts of what patients were eating down to the scale of each ingredient, and even food additives.
This was the beginning of a two-year journey that would lead Sohrab and his team to receive sponsorship from Microsoft for Startups, allowing them to develop the application on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud, and complete the data collection of a 20 person pilot study with Seattle Children’s utilizing the app.
With study participants logging their own food data through myMedDiary, they were able to record 48.5% more items with brand names, a 30X increase in custom home recipe accuracy and even pioneered the ability to backtrack food items to their supplier using barcodes when compared with current processes.
The successful completion of the study’s data collection process also made myMedDiary the first & only pediatric dietary capture application on the market designed for medical research with such high data capture accuracy.
In the world of dietary research, these results are exciting for the research team and simplify the experience for patients. “Dietary capture that is more convenient for the study participant and able to capture granular details is of great value in dietary studies,” said Dr. Lee. There has never been a study that produced patient dietary capture results as quickly and accurately as myMedDiary was able to reproduce for this particular study on celiac disease.
Sohrab and the team at Computing ReApplied have been working to improve upon solutions currently provided by the app for sale on the B2B marketplace with hospitals, clinics, and research facilities. A team is a diverse group that combines their unique backgrounds in software development, UI/UX design, and communications to develop a functional and useful tool built to advance the field of medical research.
Computing ReApplied builds solutions aimed at simplifying medical research. Our team builds products with usability at the core to ensure our users a straightforward and unencumbered experience with the applications we, as a company, believe could be instrumental in breaking existing barriers in the medical field. We are an inclusionary grassroots team of varying educational and experiential backgrounds. We all agree that at the center of our team, we are all inspired by the prospect of positive change for patients and researchers alike.
C-RA’s preliminary modeling estimates that medical research institutions can save on average, $7,200 per research study of 25 participants; with savings exponentially increasing with more participants per study. If anything, myMedDiary financially incentivizes medical professionals to conduct larger studies while simultaneously making it easier to manage a large amount of patient data capture and intake that has been previously challenging to manage and organize. For more details pertaining to the calculations of the savings provided above, please visit www.computingreapplied.com
Written By: Alex Barson
16509 NE 50th Way, Redmond, WA
This article was originally published by IssueWire. Read the original article here.