Objective: This study aims to identify and review existing software products for tracking the data of nutritional therapy clients by nutrition practitioners, and to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, so that practitioners may select the software product most suitable for their needs.
Methods: A mechanistic search and software product evaluation was performed in four stages. The stages included; a broad web search to identify products relevant for capturing nutritional data; short listing these products to those suitable for use by nutrition practitioners; surveying nutrition practitioners; reviewing functionality against a detailed scorecard to determine the best 3 products on the market; further analysing the top 3 using data from 3 anonymised clients.
Results: 59 software products were identified, 14 shortlisted and evaluated and the top 3 were CheckYourNutrition, Nutrilog and Nutrium. These were further evaluated using real client data, and functionality strengths and weaknesses recorded.
Conclusion: Having reviewed software products for use by nutrition practitioners, this study has found that usability of a software product (its ease of use), real time data entry, and a strong scientific basis are all required to recommend a software product for use. Of available products, it is recommended that nutrition practitioners use CheckYourNutrition where integration with exercise data is not a vital component to the practitioner. There is a gap in the market for a new or updated software product with additional data capture and functionality.