AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new artificial intelligence system developed in Austin is helping people improve their diets and cut down risk factors linked to potentially deadly diseases.
It’s called Nutri, and the creator, Dr. Marissa Burgermaster from the University of Texas at Austin and Dell Medical School, joined KXAN News on Tuesday to talk about it.
“When doctors talk about nutrition, it helps patients act on their goals. But it’s complicated, it’s emotional, it’s not easy to talk about,” Burgermaster said.
With the limited time doctors have with patients as well, it can be hard for them to get a full picture of a patient’s diet.
“Nutri does the hard part by making it easy for the doctors and the patients to zero in on an individual patient’s needs and help them reach their health goals,” Burgermaster said.
A Nutri pilot program was launched at Lone Star Circle of Care in Austin to test the system.
Burgermaster explained before the patient’s appointment there, they take a survey to learn about their diet.
Nutri then takes the survey information, processes it and turns it into actionable goals the patient and provider can discuss together.
“We’re always giving patients and providers autonomy for choosing which of the goals they’re most likely to be able to work on, and so we provide them recommendations, then patients walk away with a set of educational materials that can help them achieve that goal in their everyday life when they’re not with their provider anymore,” Burgermaster said.
Tuesday was the last day for the Nutri trial, so Burgermaster is hoping to learn more about how well the system worked for patients.
“What we already know from our preliminary data is that primary care providers find Nutri useful. It’s valuable, and they feel like it makes their job of talking about nutrition and making patients feel cared for when it comes to these conversations about nutrition. It just makes it easier for the providers, so they’re excited about using Nutri,” Burgermaster said.
She’s looking forward to launching Nutri throughout Central Texas.