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FoodSwitch Receives Global Accolade

News imageNews imageBupa and the George Institute’s app, FoodSwitch, was awarded “Most Valuable Health Care Professional (HCP) or Health Care Initiative Award” at a conference in Spain.

Developed by Bupa and the George Institute for Global Health, FoodSwitch - an innovative app for mobile devices, allows users to scan the barcode of more than 200,000 packaged food and drink products across Australia, New Zealand and the UK and provides them with options for healthier foods.

FoodSwitch was recognised in March this year at the Eyeforpharma conference in Spain, because of its ability to empower shoppers to make healthier food choices. The Eyeforpharma is an international conference that targets sales and marketing executives from pharmaceutical organisations.

The app was also one of the top 100 innovative initiatives, chosen from more than 500 projects from 79 countries at the Sustainia 2013 international awards in Copenhagen last November. This year, the “Most Valuable Health Care Professional (HCP) or Health Care Initiative Award” recognises FoodSwitch’s value in combating “the greatest challenges” in healthcare.

Doctors and heart rehabilitation programs are prescribing FoodSwitch. Schools use the app as part of the Personal Development and Health curricula. As FoodSwitch becomes a source of information on food products, complete with international comparisons, it is becoming invaluable in driving policy and putting pressure on food manufacturers to provide better quality foods.

FoodSwitch was launched in New Zealand in 2013 and was recently released in the UK, with plans to extend to China, India and North America. There have been more than 425,000 downloads of FoodSwitch to date and the app now includes a SaltSwitch and GlutenSwitch filter for people with a need to concentrate on a low salt or gluten free diet respectively. FoodSwitch has demonstrated its potential to touch the many millions of lives affected by obesity worldwide.

Health Benefits of a Change in Work Environment 

News imageIn a new Melbourne CBD location, Bupa has dedicated a pilot floor to assess the impact of flexible workplace design on collaboration and health. The move aligns with Bupa’s vision for the future, which puts our enduring purpose to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives at the heart of everything we do.

The workplace has a key role to play in driving preventive health strategies. Bupa’s relocation from Hawthorn to the Melbourne CBD was an opportunity to put into practice our vision for transformation. The workplace is designed not only to enable high collaboration across teams, but also an environment and work practices that promote health. We want our people to enjoy working in the space and, further, to be healthier and happier for it.

With these goals in mind, a number of health ‘interventions’ are being deployed across the pilot floor and the wider Melbourne business, along with new infrastructure, focused on three specific measurable factors - movement, improved nutrition, and positive psychosocial factors.

Each intervention has been carefully selected with the advice of health experts to ensure a best-practice environment for health without impinging on the individual’s right to make conscious choices about their lifestyle. Examples include introducing a ‘stair culture’ (one of a few strategies to reduce sedentary behaviour), implementing a healthy catering policy, and providing a health zone with a room for reflection and time out.

The impact of the interventions will be evaluated through independent research. The research will compare data from employees on the pilot floor with those from across other floors in the building. This research will inform future decisions about additional rollout of flexible workplace design to maximise positive health impacts at Bupa.

Bupa Health Dialog Sponsorship of APNA 

Last year, Bupa Health Dialog announced a sponsorship deal with the Australian Primary Healthcare Nurse Association (APNA), the peak body representing nurses in primary healthcare.

Bupa Health Dialog’s General Manager, Brett Comer attended the last APNA National Conference in Melbourne, where a number of Best Practice Nursing awards were presented, including the Bupa Health Dialog-sponsored ‘Innovation Award’.

This award is designed to reward and recognise a primary healthcare nurse who has implemented an innovation which streamlined a process, increased a prevention rate or provided a novel approach to performing their role.

Brett presented the award to winner Tahlia Kinnane, who facilitated the launch of the Daisy Petals program at the Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service in Perth. Daisy Petals helps to improve the health of indigenous women by setting up stations at community events to provide full health checks, advice and information on health.

At the time of the awards, Brett Comer commented, “Our sponsorship of APNA will continue to give us awareness of fantastic stories such as Tahlia’s and further strengthen our relationships with nurses in primary healthcare as we continue our journey to healthcare partner.”

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From left to right — Highly-commended nominee Karen Blackmore with award winner, Tahlia Kinnane, and Brett Comer.