Saturday, December 16, 2017

OCMA Blog

OCMA Specialty Spotlight: The Pocket Dietitian

Developed by Dr. Eric Wechsler of Newport Beach, The Pocket Dietitian™ offers a personalized dietary prescription for easy use on the iPhone or iPad. Based on the expertise of a registered dietitian, and board-certified nephrologist, The Pocket Dietitian™ targets a variety of ailments: chronic kidney disease (CKD), end-stage renal disease (ESRD), hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and obesity. People with these ailments, or a combination of them, will benefit most from using this product.

Poor dietary decisions in patients with one or more of these diseases can lead to dire medical outcomes, including increased risk of congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, accelerated decline in kidney function, early coronary artery disease, and even pre-mature death.

As a nephrologist, Dr. Wechsler has intimate knowledge of the power of healthful eating combined with proper medical care. Many scientific studies indicate that a proper diet can either decrease medication requirements or improve their efficacy. Additionally, following a recommended diet for specific illnesses can improve quality of life and increase longevity.

The Pocket Dietitian™ App was designed with the user in mind. It's pragmatic enough so that planning a   single meal is simple; yet it's comprehensive enough to analyze and integrate a host of complex dietary recommendations for patients with CKD, ESRD, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. It also knows that these diets occasionally contradict one another - so the final recommendation will provide an accurate dietary prescription.

How does it work?


Before using The Pocket Dietitian™ for the first time, the user answers a questionnaire found at the registration of the app. The Pocket Dietitian™ then calculates a dietary recommendation based on a number of dietary guidelines using, but not limited to, the Harris-Benedict Equation and the Body Mass Index calculation, combined with the accepted dietary guidelines recommended by the American Diabetes Association, National Kidney Foundation, American Heart Association and the American Dietetic Association.

From the home page, the user is able to add food to the diary. The Pocket Dietitian™ App then calculates the nutritional information and alerts the user to foods that may expend too much of their daily total. The Pocket Dietitian™ at this point will then suggest a healthier food option. There is even a quick list of super foods that are almost always good to eat in the right proportions.

With a real-time color-coded bar graph the viewer can visualize how the food items affect one's daily nutritional requirements for the day. Our goal is to help individuals maintain a balanced approach to their daily meals and avoid eating foods that lead to a disproportionate consumption of their tracked nutrients. For example, eating a twelve-ounce steak at lunch may consume more than 50% of one's recommended sodium and fat intake for the entire day. The Pocket Dietitian™ App will recommend several options: either decreasing the portion size, or offering an alternative, such as an  eight-ounce chicken breast. This real-time dietary assessment will help educate users on the impact food has on their bodies.

The Pocket Dietitian™ allows one to harness the most information and best available options as quickly as possible, leading to informed decisions. The user will enjoy healthful eating, and, in turn, learn more about the effects of food on overall wellness and longevity.



In 2012, Dr. Wechsler developed a mobile medical application for the iPhone, called The Pocket Dietitian. His motivation stemmed from witnessing the struggles his patients were having adhering to their dietary restrictions while maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. On a daily basis, the patients expressed confusion about what they were supposed to eat while also feeling a significant loss in their quality of life when dietitians would tell them they could never eat their favorite foods again. This mobile application was designed to provide more freedom and understanding of the various medical dietary   prescriptions and offer a simulated experience to a dietitian, on a real-time basis.


 Also, in 2012, Dr. Wechsler was asked to be the medical director of a dialysis company, called First Learn Balance. This will be unlike any dialysis unit ever developed, focusing on complementary medicine including yoga, Tai Chi, acupuncture, as well as nutrition education and lifestyle management. Dr. Wechsler hopes to develop ways to minimize some of the detrimental effects of dialysis and develop new modalities that can help improve the quality of life for dialysis patients.

Dr. Wechsler believes very strongly that kidney disease and the associated conditions of heart disease and diabetes can be prevented or slowed with early detection and treatment. His general philosophy in medicine is to educate his patients so they will be empowered to aid the doctor in treating their disease.

Dr. Wechsler states, "Without the patient's complete involvement in the process of medical management, even the brightest doctor in the world would be of little use."

 Dr. Wechsler is eager to work with new patients and continuously strives to expand his knowledge in different areas of nephrology including nutrition, dialysis, hypertension, weight loss, and disease prevention. 


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