Featured on CNA938: Could smartphone-based apps like nBuddy be effective in controlling diabetes?

The first lifestyle management app backed by clinical studies and scientific evidence, nBuddy Diabetes is developed by HeartVoice, a member of iAPPS Health Group, and was conceptualised by NUH Chief Dietitian Dr. Lim Su Lin. 

As reported in 4 peer-reviewed journals published within the past 2 years, nBuddy is proven to be effective in promoting positive behavioural change for weight and chronic disease management.

Dr. Lim Su Lin was recently invited to speak with Daniel Martin on CNA938’s Health Matters about her latest study, which involved a randomised clinical trial with Asian adults with Type 2 Diabetes.

Scroll down to read through what they discussed!



Daniel Martin (DM):
Type 2 Diabetes – it’s a major public health problem all over the world. In Singapore, something like 640,000 people suffer from Diabetes. Could Lifestyle Interventions really be effective in Diabetes Management? A team of researchers, led by Dr. Lim Su Lin, Chief Dietitian from NUH, carried out a randomised clinical trial to compare the effects of a culturally contextualised smartphone-based intervention compared to usual care on weight and metabolic outcomes.

Sharing with us the study’s key findings and the effectiveness of something known as the Nutritionist Buddy Diabetes app, lead researcher – the aforementioned Dr. Lim Su Lin – is here. Dr Lim, welcome to the show!

Dr. Lim Su Lin (SL): Hello, Daniel!

DM: I’m very intrigued about what dent this could make in our war on diabetes. Talk to me about the nature of the clinical trial — how were you able to test the effectiveness of something like this?

SL: Firstly, I want to say – did you know despite so many smartphone-based apps on diets and healthy living, there are just very few of them based on clinical studies?

DM: No, and that’s a worrying thing right? That means a lot of people are using these apps that don’t have a lot of real evidence behind them.

SL: Yes, so I’m very happy to say that this is indeed the first randomised controlled trial in Singapore using a smartphone-based lifestyle intervention on people with Diabetes, and we know that randomised controlled trials provide the highest level, which is the Level 1 evidence for therapeutic studies.

DM: What did the study try to establish? How did the clinical trial get underway? What was the conduct of it?

SL: Because it was a randomised controlled trial, we randomised participants either to the intervention — which is the mobile app group — and the control group. They get either one randomly, and both the control and intervention participants received the diet and physical advice from a dietitian at baseline.

However, additionally, for the Intervention participants, they were advised to download the nBuddy Diabetes or the Nutritionist Buddy app and use them. For the benefit of listeners who may not be familiar with the nBuddy Diabetes app, it is a clinical-grade app which incorporates evidence-based behavioural modification strategies to promote weight loss and diabetes control.

Some of the key features: it has a database of more than 14,000 food items which are localised to a Singapore context, and it can also evaluate the suitability of food choices and provides a healthier alternative if the food chosen is not the best choice — this is actually a unique feature. Another unique feature is that it provides a prompt when a user exceeds their calorie or carbohydrates limits. This helps people to understand their diet – whether they exceeded their carbohydrates and things like that.

DM: What did the study establish — was it able to find that it was effective, that using the app had a greater result than just the control?

SL: Yes, very! In fact, some of the results fascinated us. We especially want to highlight the good results of participants who initially had poor diabetes control at baseline, because they benefited the most significantly. These people benefited from the mobile app intervention with a 1.8% reduction in HbA1c. HbA1c is an indicator of the average 3 months blood sugar control. This insight shows that it’s greater than the improvement of about 1% achieved in most oral diabetes medications, as reported in many studies. To our surprise, the reduction in blood sugar was also achieved alongside significant reductions in diabetes medication in the mobile app group. That means besides blood sugar being controlled and dropped, they also end up reducing their diabetes medication. In the study, usually we worry about – maybe the blood sugar dropped because the doctor increased the medication, but the good thing was that we actually took note of the medications the patients are taking and any changes to the medications along the intervention.

DM: How lovely to hear! It’s not just about minor improvements — it could lead to even some major life changes, potentially, and measurable at that! I’m curious though, because of our diverse population, our elderly population, people with language capacities and different languages spoken in Singapore, how user friendly is this app would you say in terms of user interface and the ability to reach different demographics?

SL: Of course, there will be people who are not very tech savvy, so maybe they may not benefit so much from this, but we have quite many elderly participants above 65 years old and they have benefited from it too — as long as they’re willing to use the app. The good thing is that even for the Malay population, if the type in a Malay word, the app will be able to translate and come up with a list of the items they’re looking for. So many of our elderly participants have benefited from it, that’s what I can say.

DM: So language support is there for English and Malay. What about Mandarin?

SL: For those who are solely Mandarin-speaking or can only read Mandarin, we haven’t really tackled this group yet. But Broken English is fine — as long as people can speak Simple English, we are okay with that and they are able to use the app. 

DM: That sounds great! What’s the availability like? Can somebody download and use it right now?

SL: This app is available to the public in the App Store and Play Store with basic features accessible for free to the public, so they can download it right now. 

DM: And is there a paid option or something like that?

SL: If they want to upgrade to a Pro version, then there will be certain features that will be accessible to them like Daily Tips and Carbohydrates Listing. For those who pay the Premium, they even get nutritionist support and videos available for them. 

DM: Ah, that’s the thing, because coming from the Dietetics department, I was wondering whether this is an opportunity to have a form of remote connection with the patients in a way.

SL: That’s exactly what we did in this study — participants were able to connect with the Dietitians through the app. So this is one of the features we have in this app, with the Premium version. The Pro is without the support from the Dietitian, but the Premium is. But the Pro has a few other features available. Basic is good enough if they want to download it for free and try it out first, just go ahead – there’s no obligation that they have to pay for it and things like that. A lot of people are downloading it and using it for free actually!

DM: I’m sure! You know what? If it’s good advice, if it’s backed up by research like you said and a clinical trial behind it in terms of its potential impact, what a great opportunity. Dr. Lim Su Lin, the Chief Dietitian from the National University Hospital — a smartphone-based lifestyle intervention app for weight and blood sugar control in Type 2 Diabetes patients.

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An elevated lifestyle experience for Health & Wellness, an expansion of the i-Wellness Clinic

Singapore, July 5, 2021 — Last Friday, the Integrated Wellness Clinic (iWC) at Novena Specialist Centre, a member of the iAPPS Health Group (iHG), officially celebrated the opening of its newly-renovated space at #07-07 of the Centre, an addition to the clinic’s offerings, where it is currently operating in two other units within the Novena Specialist Centre.

Beyond just medical care

The new space features an Executive Lounge, where patients who sign up for Prime Health Screening Packages at the iWC will get to relax while waiting for their appointments, which will be held in a room located within the same space.

In an effort to offer a more holistic healthcare approach to the community, nBuddy, a lifestyle management mobile app, is now extending its online presence reach in the nBuddy Suite, a Nutrition Studio within the newly-renovated space, to provide nutritional care beyond the usual medical care services found at most clinics.

nBuddy Quick Facts

  • Lifestyle Management Application
  • Extensive & reliable database of over 14,000 LOCAL food items which has undergone over 7,000 hours of thorough nutritional evaluation by professional dietitians
  • Backed by science, with 5 research papers published in peer-reviewed international journals, funded by national research grants

Leveraging on technology and healthcare expertise

The Integrated Wellness Clinic currently offers accessible treatment on-site at the clinic or through virtual online consults via HeartVoice’s teleheath technology. For earlier detection, patients can arrange for health screenings, and participate in remote patient monitoring enabled by Omron devices’ data synced in real-time on the HeartVoice app.

A win-win for ALL.

 

“Today, we celebrate iWC’s expansion and a new chapter for nBuddy — extending their nutritional wellness services beyond the online audience with a physical space here at iWC, serving offline consult needs too to facilitate proactive lifestyle management among ALL patients. It’s a win-win for all and a significant milestone for iHG’s 3P personalised, predictive and preventive medicine that aims to integrate not just medical, but also functional and nutritional offerings for the community.”
Dr. Lam Pin Min, iHG Chairman & Former Senior Minister of State for Health in his opening address at the iWC

An elevated visiting experience at the newly renovated health & wellness lifestyle space

“It’s a celebration for iWC too, complementing our current medical services with nBuddy’s offerings, plus a lifestyle space that our patients and visitors can enjoy and spend time on health and wellness activities with friends and family.”
Carrie Ee, Director of Operations at Integrated Wellness Clinic

Besides attending one-on-one nutrition consultations, the newly renovated space doesn’t just serve as a “executive lounge” for visitors to rest and recharge before or after their appointments. Educational materials will be provided around the Executive Lounge and Nutritional Studio, for visitors to learn more about how they can manage a healthy lifestyle.

Functional Kitchen for Nutritional Cooking Demonstrations

The space also comes with a functional kitchen, including an oven, where cooking demonstrations and food tastings are planned to be held in the evenings or on weekends. These demonstrations, conducted by professionals in the nutritional domain, will provide visitors with valuable culinary knowledge for their taking and showcases how food can equally be tasty when cooked and prepared in a nutritional way.

Visit the new iWC unit today (address below) and participate in iHG’s new promise on healthy living where individuals are empowered to live life more abundantly through Fin-MedTech enabled 3P (Personalised, Predictive, and Preventive) medicine.

i-Wellness@HeartVoice
#07-07, Novena Specialist Centre
8 Sinaran Drive
Singapore 307470

 

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Introducing the iAPPS Health Group Digital Health Wallet, in collaboration with CashNow

Pictured (from left to right): Ivan Khua (Chairman, CashNow), Toh Kok Wee (Director, CashNow), Esther Xie (Director, iAPPS Health Group), Dr. Lam Pin Min (Chairman, iAPPS Health Group)

Pictured: Signing of official documents by representatives of CashNow and iAPPS Health Group

iAPPS Health Group (iHG) Digital Health Wallet is the FIRST healthcare payment solution being offered FREE for Corporates to manage benefits, control budget, automate claims — all in one unified platform.

It is also the FIRST in letting Providers keep not 25% – 50%, but 90% of their medical revenue which gets transferred instantly to their iHG Wallet (Provider) upon successful  transaction, vs the usual 2 – 3 months timeframe.

In Collaboration with CashNow Wallet

Offered by iAPPS Health Group (“iHG”) in collaboration with CashNow, iHG’s Digital Health Wallet utilises CashNow’s Send and Payment capabilities to facilitate seamless transactions for corporates, providers, and individuals all around.

“We started CashNow on the basis of serving the community, with increased accessibility through our integration with the SGQR label. Through this collaboration with iHG, we look forward to extending our services beyond the community, but also to corporate entities and healthcare providers islandwide.”
Ivan Khua, Chairman, CashNow

CashNow is widely used and accepted at over 8800 hawker centres, shops and F&B outlets islandwide that features SGQR code for Scan and Pay services.

“With CashNow on board, it allows the iHG Digital Wallet platform to help healthcare providers get paid faster. Corporates using the wallet can streamline their flexi-benefits administrative processes which also makes the claims process for individuals or employees more efficient. This allows everyone within the ecosystem to spend more time on things that truly matter and putting one’s health first.”
Dr. Lam Pin Min, iHG Chairman and Former Senior Minister of State for Health

Get ready for an elevated modern healthcare experience!

For Corporates: Give your workforce personalised healthcare benefits that’s optimised, easy to implement and at zero cost to you

  • Automate claims
  • Smarter benefits utilisation
  • Seamless administrative process
  •  

For Providers: Enhance your suite of medical offerings

  • Get fairer returns for your services
  • Get paid in seconds… not months
  • Expand your patient base
  • Earn extra income passively & beyond clinic hours

For Individuals: Experience a seamless modern process when it comes to finding and claiming for healthcare

  • Find a list of quality providers
  • Stay organised
  • Cashless payments
  • Delivered right to your doorstep
  • Spend and get rewarded
  • Receive special offers

iHG’s Digital Health Wallet is currently being rolled out to our existing network of medical centres and family clinics islandwide. More features and enhancements are in the pipeline such as linking the wallet to a digital health card to provide a more holistic view on transaction history and health affordability status. 

Whether you’re a provider or corporate, or an individual, be a part of the iHG network to access the above listed details. Find out more at https://iappshealthgroup.com/digital-wallet

At iHG, we are committed to empowering individuals to live life more abundantly through Fin-MedTech enabled 3P personalised, predictive, and preventive medicine.

Pictured (from left to right): Ivan Khua (Chairman, CashNow), Toh Kok Wee (Director, CashNow), Esther Xie (Director, iAPPS Health Group), Dr. Lam Pin Min (Chairman, iAPPS Health Group)

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Integrated Wellness Clinic, a member of iAPPS Health Group, selected to administer Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

The Integrated Wellness Clinic (Novena Specialist Centre), a member of iAPPS Health Group (“iHG”) 3P Medicine Company, has been appointed by Singapore’s Ministry of Health (“MOH”) as one of 24 private clinics to administer the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine.

Carrie Ee, Director of Operations at Integrated Wellness Clinic at Novena Specialist Centre, said in an interview with CNA938: “We see it as an honour to be selected as one of the 24 clinics in providing the Sinovac vaccine. We see this exercise as serving the nation together.”

Selected clinics by MOH are based on the clinic’s ability to administer the vaccines safely, properly and efficiently. Other considerations include experience in vaccine administration, compliance history at past licensing inspections, and proposed administration fees for affordability assurance. 

Quick Facts

  • What it is: Inactivated virus COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese company, Sinovac Biotech
  • Approved by the World Health Organization (WHO): Validated for emergency use, meeting international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing
  • Vaccine efficacy by WHO: Prevented symptomatic disease in 51% of those vaccinated, and prevented severe COVID-19 and hospitalization in 100% of studied population
  • WHO recommends it for: Adults 18 years and older, in a 2-dose schedule taken 2 -4 weeks apart
  • Find out more here 

Interested vaccine-takers can opt for Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine at our clinic at an administrative charge of $25.

>>> Call 6250 7623 to book your appointment at the iWellness Clinic from 18 June

Sinovac COVID-19’s cost have been made free by the Singapore Government and individuals are not charged for the vaccine cost, beyond administrative fees, making the vaccine readily available and affordable. 

With the COVID-19 likely to become endemic and as our society moves towards this possible “new normal”, the responsibility falls on individuals in the community to abide by our nation’s safe management measures such as social distancing and hand hygiene to curb the spread of COVID-19.

It is, however, important to note that while vaccinations are essential, they are not sufficient.

Beyond taking care of our health — living well — it is just as important to ensure that we are eating well, and working well. 

“Even as more of us receive the COVID-19 vaccination, we must continue to abide by the COVID-19 safe management measures, such as wearing face masks when we are out in the community, maintain hand hygiene and social distancing. In addition, we should continuously strive towards strengthening our immunity by living healthily.  This includes getting adequate rest, staying hydrated, maintaining a well balanced and nutritional diet and keeping active with regular functional exercises.”

— Dr. Lam Pin Min, iHG Chairman & Former Senior Minister of State for Health

At iHG, we integrate the expertise of financial, medical and digital transformation technologies into the 3 care pillars of medical, functional and nutritional domains, to facilitate a healthy living approach that helps people stay healthy and age in comfort.

The iHG 3P Medicine Platform empowers individuals to live life more abundantly through Fin-MedTech enabled 3P (personalised, predictive, and preventive) medicine that is not only assuredly led by domain expertise, but made affordable and accessible 24/7 anytime anywhere.

July 2, 2021 Update: MOH has announced 7 more private clinics approved to administer the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

August 31, 2021 Update: Patients who got their Sinovac vaccinations administered at the Integrated Wellness Clinic may expect to receive their reports as follows.


About iAPPS Health Group

iAPPS Health Group is a quality-of-life centric, technology driven, Fin-MedTech company, powering a modern digital healthcare platform that offers 3P personalised, predictive and preventive medicine through digital wallet and virtual health card features, supported by data driven innovation that curates real-time positive behavioural changes and interventions. With a vision of being the leading Fin-MedTech company providing the best healthcare and wellness services in Singapore and beyond, the company’s mission is to empower individuals to live life more abundantly through Fin-MedTech enabled 3P medicine.

iAPPS Health Group is a subsidiary of iAPPS Pte Ltd, a pioneering financial technology firm that specialises in mobile application development and solutioning.

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iAPPS Health Group, a Fin-MedTech company, announces former Senior Minister of State for Health Dr. Lam Pin Min as its Chairman

SINGAPORE, June 15, 2021 — iAPPS Health Group (“iHG”) announced the appointment of former Senior Minister of State for Health, Dr. Lam Pin Min, as Chairman of its board of directors.

Dr. Lam Pin Min brings with him a wealth of relevant experience as a veteran in the healthcare space. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Paediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus Service for the Eagle Eye Centre.

“I look forward to exploring the use of technology with iHG and innovating the next chapter in healthcare provision that will lead to better health outcomes and longer health span,” said the former senior minister of state during the initial kickoff meeting held at the iAPPS office.

A Fin-MedTech company, iAPPS Health Group integrates its expertise of financial, medical and digital transformation technologies into the 3 care pillars of medical, functional and nutritional domains. The outcome is 3P Medicine that provides users personalised healthcare pathways based on their genetic makeup, predicts their earliest signs of health risks when it’s most reversible via Machine Learning, and prevents future health risks with Artificial Intelligence in clinical & genomic diagnostics.

This new promise on healthy living is enabled by iHG’s Data Innovation technology that allows for continuous secure data exchange from multiple silo-ed IoMT apps and data sources. Beyond just data collection and reporting, iHG 3P Medicine Platform takes it a step further by delivering right-timed, relevant 3P actionable next steps that are not only assuredly led by domain expertise, but made affordable and accessible 24/7 anytime anywhere to the masses.

Currently powering 3 core digital healthcare solutions: Smart Clinic & Patient Management, Corporate Wellness Benefits Management, Digital Health Wallet, with a 4th in the pipeline — Digital Networked Pharmacies; these solutions are being rolled out and integrated into iHG’s existing network of medical centres islandwide.

An IT infocomm veteran helming various fintech, agritech and healthtech ventures, Ms. Lilian Koh, Founder & CEO of IHG and CEO of its parent company, iAPPS, added: “It’s a privilege to have Dr. Lam on board with us at iHG. His experience and leadership in healthcare will further solidify the next steps in our plan towards our mission and vision of empowering everyone to participate in living life more abundantly through preventive and personalised medicine, enabled by precision and predictive technology; shifting the medical sick care system to a health care system to help people stay healthy and age in comfort.”

This appointment as Chairman of iAPPS Health Group marks Dr. Lam’s first venture into the Fin-Medtech sector.

Prior to becoming a Minister of State, Dr. Lam served as a pediatric ophthalmologist at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the Singapore National Eye Centre, and Eagle Eye Centre. He currently sits on the Civil Aviation Medical Board and is the Adviser to the Society of Aviation Medicine, Singapore.

Dr. Lam was also actively involved as the Singapore representative in the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) from 2014-2020 and was an Executive Board Member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) from 2019-2020.



About iAPPS Health Group

iAPPS Health Group is a quality-of-life centric, technology driven, Fin-MedTech company, powering a modern digital healthcare platform that offers 3P personalised, predictive and preventive medicine through digital wallet and virtual health card features, supported by data driven innovation that curates real-time positive behavioural changes and interventions. With a vision of being the leading Fin-MedTech company providing the best healthcare and wellness services in Singapore and beyond, the company’s mission is to empower individuals to live life more abundantly through Fin-MedTech enabled 3P medicine.

iAPPS Health Group is a subsidiary of iAPPS Pte Ltd, a pioneering financial technology firm that specialises in mobile application development and solutioning.

For more information on iAPPS Health Group, please visit https://iappshealthgroup.com/ 



Media Enquiries:

iAPPS Healthcare Group
+65 6463 1795
ask@iappshealthgroup.com 

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