news

Digital technology improves research and management of functional gastrointestinal disorders in babies

Digital technologies like wearables and smartphone apps benefit more than just consumers.

Digital tools can be employed in research to gather data efficiently, improve scientific insights, and support healthcare professionals in the diagnosis and management of frequent issues amongst infants, such as regurgitation, infant colic, or constipation.

Trend and opportunity

With the global increase in smartphone ownership and internet usage, online health information and development of digital healthcare technologies, the tech-enabled healthcare (TEC) sector is growing at an exponential rate. As more parents continue to embrace technology as means to monitor and ensure their babies’ health, it presents an avenue for researchers and healthcare professionals to collaborate and gain scientific insights and ultimately provide targeted, tailored interventions.

Concern and gap

Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) such as regurgitation, infant colic, functional constipation and related signs and symptoms are prevalent during infancy, affecting approximately 50 percent of children from birth to six months of age. It is a common source of worry for parents. With the availability of online portals, parents can access health information online, however, not all online information is scientifically substantiated. In addition, scientific literature and evidence-based resources may not be widely accessible or easy to understand.

Could digital technology be a solution?

Thomas Ludwig, principal scientist of pediatric gastroenterology at Precision Nutrition D-Lab, Danone Nutricia Research, provided his insights how adopting digital technologies can help in paediatric research and clinical practices, particularly for FGID management.

Firstly, through digital technology, healthcare professionals can have access to the most updated patient information and monitor patient’s progress in real time, which will enable them to provide targeted reassurance and nutritional advice to parents in a timely manner.

Furthermore, from a research perspective, new advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools such as Machine Learning, Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics can be used to improve scientific insights by increasing efficiency and reducing human error in research. New insights can help optimise management of common gastrointestinal issues in children and reduce the inappropriate use of medication or dietary interventions, which may ultimately save personal and public healthcare costs.

Endgame

Adopting digital technology in healthcare for early life nutrition benefits parents, researchers and healthcare professionals. Researchers gain better understanding of a health condition with big data, healthcare professionals can detect symptoms more efficiently, with the right and accessible information parents can better manage their baby’s situation more confidently.

Ultimately, it strengthens the collaboration between multiple parties to devise practical evidence-based nutritional solutions and to provide babies with better nutrition in early life.

Read here the full article published in the magazine of Asia Pacific Biotech News (APBN).

Asia Pacific Biotech News (APBN),is a leading biotech and life sciences magazine to bring latest news and noteworthy information in a comprehensive and concise manner to professionals in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.