UBD developing health app
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
UNIVERSITI Brunei Darussalam is developing a mobile app that keeps track of users’ weight and diet changes as one way of tackling chronic diseases in the sultanate.
Dr Nik Ani Afiqah Hj Mohamad Tuah, lecturer at UBD’s Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences, said the app named Health Coach includes a tracking device on users’ body weight, dietary intake and physical activity.
Speaking on the sidelines of a recent UBD seminar, she said the app is semi-interactive as users can enter their data and ask questions. The app, which is targeted at adolescents, will include information on maintaining a healthy diet and physical activities.
She said the varsity is collaborating with the Health Promotion Centre and IT company Tech One to develop the app.
The idea to develop the app came about to help prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country, the lecturer said.
She added that the mobile app is an effort to add value to NCD intervention in the country.
“We wanted to know what else we can do to tackle the problem of obesity among children and teenagers in the country and looked into the services that have been offered so far,” she said.
Noting that childhood obesity is a growing problem in Brunei, Dr Nik Ani Afiqah said there is a lack of programmes for teenagers.
“We've looked into the existing programmes and discovered that using mobile application intervention can be a cost-effective solution to reach out to teenagers and their parents,” she said.
“This way, we will empower teenagers to manage their lifestyles and provide tailored support important to them right at their fingertips.”
After going through examples in other countries, the developers decided to come up with a prototype for Health Coach.
“We are going to test it in the next few months. In fact, we actually showcased Health Coach at UBD Convocation Festival last September, where His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office had the opportunity to look at it.”
She added: “We will be looking for evidence of whether this app really works, in terms of engaging and making behaviour changes before launching it officially.”
The Brunei Times