Maya McColm, the story behind NERO

Maya has worked in many areas of dietetic practice over her extensive 30 plus years’ experience. These areas include working in hospitals, research and private practice.

Maya went into private practice with the naive belief that private practice would provide more flexible work hours and greater remuneration to help support bringing up 3 young children under 3 years of age.

Like so many dietitians, Maya was passionate making a positive impact on her client’s health journey. Maya stated that, “few things give me greater pleasure than supporting clients to make the behavioural nutrition changes to achieve their health goals”.

But private practice was hard work, demanding and not very profitable. Private practice required a significant attitude rewiring and in understanding and appreciating the value of nutrition services, much of which was provided for free in the public service. Maya believes that it is vitally important for Dietitians to have at least some basic knowledge in business principles and states that she could not have created NERO without the expertise of the people working with her including her early business mentor and current business partner, Trevor Holmes.

As Dietitians Nutritionists, our expertise lies in our ability to understand our clients and provide individual recommendations based on patient centred counselling techniques and evidence based nutritional advice. But counselling takes time and with social media comes a rise in people giving nutritional advice without the training and understanding of the complexities of providing this individualised and evidence-based nutritional advice.

In this changing world, Maya strongly believes that Dietitians are the experts and sometimes technology and innovation is required to support dietitians to be heard.

It is for this reason that she has lead a team in the development of innovative nutrition app technology called NERO that supports dietitians to:

  1. Get their message to more clients in shorter consultation times
  2. Improve the way we educate our clients using visually stimulating nutrition education videos
  3. Get more referrals from the general public
  4. Enable clients to monitor their health progress and plan their meals

In summary, NERO (Nutrition Education Resources Online) provides support to the nutrition professional and clients to get results. It is supported with an app that allows dietitians to be mobile and access their client data 24/7 from anywhere in the world using any device with a totally FREE app for clients.

Clients can download their free app prior to seeing the dietitians and complete a general nutrition assessment based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines, plan their meals based on their nutrition goals and see a basic nutrition education video all prior to the consultation with the dietitian. In this way, the client has already provided much of the data and has had a basic education before even seeing the dietitian and therefore saving time during the collaboration. This shorter consultation time can be used for consolidation of the nutrition education, rapport-building, planning and personal goal setting. Maya states that her consultation times have almost halved and her client satisfaction rate with the service has increased significantly since using NERO.

NERO enables the consulting dietitian to access the client’s information more regularly and send frequent positive messages to maintain motivation between appointments with the dietitian.

The dietitian can view their client’s health progress and their meal choices as well as send more videos at the attending dietitian’s discretion and in line with the client’s management pathway.

Any users who have downloaded the free app can use the “find a professional” feature on the app to find and connect with a NERO registered dietitian through the start of the art GPS system resulting in more referrals. The free app actively connects dietitians with clients and clients with dietitians totally changing the landscape of how professionally we can now engage with people who need our service.

To register with NERO log onto The website provides information on the benefits of NERO, some snippets of a sample of the nutrition education videos and information on “how to register”. Once registered, there are more videos on “how to use NERO” and “how to get started”. Please note that the 60 day free trial ended on the 31st July.

NERO was designed by dietitian for dietitians to work together to make a difference to our clients and the community as the leaders in the nutrition industry.

The NERO team welcome constructive feedback to guide the future evolution of NERO is in line with the needs of the dietitian community. We would like to build more videos and meal plans and we are committed to support studies to evaluate the benefits of NERO on dietetic practices and their clients.

Maya strongly believes that dietitians are passionate about nutrition and supporting our clients on their health journey. Dietitians are also passionate about our profession. We know that technology is a critical factor now and by being creative and innovative; results in our whole dietetic industry continually improving on how engage with the public and get results.

As a relatively small profession, dietitians should work together in support of each other to continually prosper as the respected leaders in the nutrition industry.

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