Design and validation of ultra-personalised nutritional system to support the self-care of women with gestational diabetes



Gestational diabetes (GD) is a perinatal condition that can harm both mothers and fetuses if blood sugar levels are uncontrolled, leading to pregnancy complications and health risks. Women with GD need to manage their blood sugar, diet, and activity to prevent these issues, but this can be challenging as they have to learn new eating behaviours like portion control and find appropriate food equivalents. Self-care technologies could help by supporting learning and offering personalized meal plans. The goal of NUTRIA is thus to empower informed eating decisions and provide nutritional education. Dietitians will be able to input nutritional requirements and restrictions on a dedicated web platform. Patients will receive tailored meal plans and recommendations for managing gestational diabetes during pregnancy. The plans will be flexible enough to accommodate practical food choices aligned with the patient’s cultural practices, religious beliefs (like avoiding certain foods), and personal food preferences.

We will start the project by investigating the self-care practices and challenges of women with GD and their dietitians, using ethnographic fieldwork and participatory design activities with dietitians, women with GD, and other relevant stakeholders.

NUTRIA will create and validate a system to support the self-care of pregnant women with gestational diabetes (GD), composed of a mobile app for patients and a web platform for dietitians. NUTRIA’s mobile app will enable women with GD to receive tailored meal plans and nutritional messages/notifications for adopting healthy eating practices. The NUTRIA web platform will enable dietitians to set up the nutritional profile of the patients, craft messages/notifications for patients, and monitor and adjust meal plans remotely.

We will conduct user research and participatory design with patients and dietitians to improve the system and develop more features. Furthermore, we will conduct field trials to evaluate and improve the system, and to analyse the effects and impact of the intervention.



Associação Fraunhofer Portugal Research (leader), Centro Hospitalar Póvoa de Varzim-Vila do Conde, Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Santo António, Faculty of Engineering (FEUP).





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