We all want to move more, eat healthier, and be our best. So, what if we could use artificial intelligence (AI) and data from our daily lives to customize a healthy path forward?
That’s the purpose behind My Viva Plan | My Viva Inc., a platform that incorporates proven healthcare tools into one, easy-to-use digital treatment program designed by healthcare experts. My Viva Plan stems from its parent company, Revive Wellness, and is based in the Edmonton region.
Loreen Wales, My Viva Plan CEO and a registered dietitian, was inspired to develop the software to ensure a more efficient, easy way to help people outside of the doctor’s office.
“As a healthcare professional, I didn’t have anything I could give patients. If you ask me to solve a problem for you or create a nutrition plan, I had to create it for you on a piece of paper or maybe give you a website to go to with some information,” says Wales. “That’s all I had at my disposal to give to you to manage your care at home.”
My Viva Plan is closing that knowledge gap for healthcare practitioners and patients. By entering personalized data, patients receive customized, research-backed healthcare plans and advice. The software uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) strategies to engage users in self-care in the absence of a healthcare professional. It builds self-efficacy for managing health conditions at home; mental health, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are just some conditions that can be managed at home with this kind of technology.
Pharmacists, employers, health professionals, primary care clinics, and digital care companies can also use this technology to extend treatment plans to people’s homes.
“The interesting thing is that 99 per cent of the care happens in the home environment, which is not a number we often think about,” said Wales.
When people collect data about their day, they will naturally figure out a healthy direction that makes sense for them. My Viva Plan facilitates that healthy decision-making behaviour. With features like on-demand fitness programs, weekly coaching, custom meal plans, and stress testing, patients can get a wholistic, at-home plan unique to their needs. No cookie cutter diet programs, no workout trends, just a custom way to live healthier based on who you are.
The platform also uses augmented reality (AR) and machine learning, creating an interactive experience to help build patients’ intrinsic motivation – an essential feature for sustainable behaviour change. A new feature for My Viva Plan is YOU-AR-OK; an app designed to use AR to help patients manage mental health through interactive journaling with its wellness avatar, YARO.
“We’ve been adding more and more machine learning into the system to allow for natural language capabilities for YARO to have conversations and be that accountability buddy to patients,” said Loreen.
Loreen’s team is taking part in several research initiatives with doctors, including studies on patients living with osteo-arthritis and COPD, participating in research on cancer prevention with Alberta Health, and working with Metabolic Syndrome Canada’s, The CHANGE Program, to name a few.
“The next step is to continue the research in specific arms of health conditions. For example, the research study we’re doing with patients living with COPD and cardiometabolic rehab or suffering current metabolic syndromes. We’re training the AI to talk to people living with those health conditions, so we have to research and validated each health condition,” said Loreen.
The Edmonton region is one of Canada’s top AI hubs; many technology companies in the region are incorporating AI into their projects. The University of Alberta is globally recognized in this space, and the university’s Faculty of Rehabilitation and Medicine uses My Viva Plan as a trusted resource.
With over 400 tech companies in the Edmonton region, My Viva Plan is just one example of unique, forward-thinking innovation happening in the Edmonton region, making healthcare more accessible and helping patients take an active role in their health.