‘You’re really going to eat THAT?’

You may have heard of patient-centered approaches to healthcare, but what about consumer-specific approaches to nutrition? That’s the direction food giant Nestle wants to take with their Nestle Wellness Ambassador program. Users send pictures of their food through an app, and then Nestle recommends lifestyle changes and supplements. So if you want a more objective source instead of your Mom or significant other criticizing your food choices, you can enroll in the program for $600 a year. You also get access to those special supplements, as well as DNA and blood testing which Nestle outsources to outside companies. The program is currently limited to Japanese participants, but we could see an expansion of it in the future as Nestle tries to focus on wellness instead of sweetness.

Precision medicine + diabetes

Time to break down diabetes into more subtypes than the amount of Wilford Brimley parodies there are on YouTube. Ok that might be an exaggeration because there are a TON, but Swedish & Finnish researchers are making an argument that we should probably have more than just the current two subtypes. They propose keeping Type 1 as its own thing, but expanding Type 2 into four clusters that are more descriptive of their causes. The basic breakdown is: Cluster 1, severe autoimmune (the former Type 1;) Cluster 2, severe insulin-deficiency; Cluster 3, severe insulin-resistant; Cluster 4, mild obesity-related; and Cluster 5, mild age-related. According to researcher Leif Groop, this is “a real step towards precision medicine. In the ideal scenario, this is applied at diagnosis and we target treatment better.” Increasingly patient-centric approaches will always get a thumbs-up from us.