Interventional - Device
The DESI-GDM Digital study will develop and pilot test an integrated digital health platform (DHP) to deliver diet and exercise advice, and collect diet, exercise, and glucose data, to prevent dysglycemia in high-risk pregnant South Asian women residing in Peel Region, Ontario, Canada.
In consultation with physicians, dietitians, participants, behavioural psychologists, nurses, and digital health experts, we will:
A. Develop a motivational and reminder text messaging sequence for pregnant South Asian women that will provide information and bi-directional feedback to support healthy lifestyle choices aimed at preventing the development of gestional diabetes (GDM).
B. Develop an integrated ‘one-stop’ digital platform (such as a smartphone or computer-accessible app) to allow pregnant women to track blood glucose, activity, and diet by:
i. tracking daily blood glucose readings (linked with Libre Freestyle).
ii. tracking daily activity, measured as number of steps taken (linked with FitBit Flex).
iii. tracking dietary intake (linked with MyFitnessPal + food photographs).
C. Evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the individual tools and integrated platform through focus group feedback.
The DESI-GDM study will consist of four major phases:
1) developing the personalized messages
2) development of the text messaging system and integrated DHP.
3) A two-week trial of the health messaging, tracking apps (Freestyle Libre, Fitbit Flex, MyFitnessPal), and integrated DHP.
4) focus groups with participants.
Interventional - Device
RCT - pilot
Sonia Anand is a Professor, Medicine and Epidemiology at McMaster University; Associate Chair, Diversity and Equity in McMaster’s Department of Medicine; Director of McMaster’s Population Genomics Program; inaugural Chair, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society; and Director, Chanchlani Research Centre for Global Health at McMaster, among other roles.
Her present research focuses upon the environmental and genetic determinants of vascular disease in populations of varying ancestral origin, women and cardiovascular disease. Sonia has published more than 200 articles in peer review journals. Shas been inducted into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Russell De Souza, a registered dietitian and nutritional epidemiologist, focuses his research on dietary factors that influence chronic disease throughout the lifespan, with a particular interest in macronutrients, dietary patterns and cardiovascular disease.
He received his doctoral degree in nutritional epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed post-doctoral training in systematic reviews and randomized trial methodology jointly at McMaster University, and at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
Associate Program Manager
Dipika Desai oversees many epidemiologic studies, including the South Asian birth cohort, START, the South Asian Heart Risk Assessment (SAHARA), and the Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Minds (CAHHM), as well as management assistance and oversight in the utilization of samples from a number of other studies.
She has a Bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition from the M S University in Baroda, India, and a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition from the University of British Columbia.
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