Trients business and uniqueness are based off of a simple yet groundbreaking idea; since we have become so well-equipped in saving premature babies lives, let’s focus on heightening the probability for a high life quality for the rest of their lives. Right amount of nutrition is proven to be a key factor in the development of premature babies, therefore Trients developed a software program that tailors the right amount of nutrition for every individual – to make sure every baby attain the proper nutrition to reach desirable development which in the long-run has shown to have great impact on their future life quality. In addition, it saves time and resources for doctors, nurses and dietitians using it; a win-win situation, so to speak.
How did the idea for Trients come about?
“About 15-16 years ago, a computer program was developed in Umeå called Nutrium. That program was developed in connection with the university and the university hospital. The program tailors nutritional intake to premature babies, that is, a baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. It is not uncommon for children to be born quite early, between 22-23 weeks of pregnancy and onwards. What happens when they are born so early is that they miss something called the third trimester, which is the phase of pregnancy that is intended for rapid growth for the baby. When you think of a newborn baby, it is often a bit chubby; but when the baby is born prematurely, it is born without reserves and it places very high demands on premature babies that they get the right nutrition, because they have missed the stage then they naturally accumulate reserves in the form of fat. What can happen if prematurely born babies do not get the right amount of nutrition is that they can get short-term and long-term health complications. One such example is Stevie Wonder, he went blind due to something called retinopathy of prematurity. When you are born so early and aren’t given the right nutrition, there are stretch marks in the eyeball which then can lead to partial or complete blindness.
So, what we have noticed is simply that after rescuing the baby and making it survive, nutrition plays a very important role. One could say that it is a key factor for a good quality of life later in life for premature babies. First and foremost, it is most important that the child survives, which doctors have become incredibly good at. About 50 years ago, a baby born in week 26 and weighing 1000 grams had less than a 10% chance of survival. Today, the same baby has over 90% chance of survival. Hence, we are incredibly good at saving the children who are born prematurely, which allows us to focus on giving them a good and healthy life onwards. This is where the importance of nutrition calculation comes into play. There is a lot of science on the subject, but the problem lies in the fact that there are no real tools for adapting the nutrition calculation based on the children’s individual needs. You can sit down and count by hand, but it is not practically applicable because it would take so much time and resources. A clinic can have up to 600 babies per year and for each baby a calculation is needed both before and after the meal, which can be up to 12 meals per day, which simply does not become sustainable. As a result, many do not really calculate nutrition, but give them standard formulas and estimations. Some clinics uses excel sheets or simple programs to calculate nutrition, but the disadvantage of them is that they do not include the entire image in their calculation. Babies often get two types of nutrition; enteral which means food that is ingested through the mouth such as breast milk and other. Parenterally, which the child receives intravenously. In the beginning, there is a lot in drip and very little real food. If you count only one, you only get half the picture of what nutrition the child gets, which is misleading. Trients is the only program on the market that takes into account both types of intake. It was developed in Umeå about 15 years ago and since then it has expanded and is now standard in Swedish neonatal care. “
“After I left the US, I got the chance to make Trients international; then I thought ‘should I work for a hedge fund in the US or should I save babies?’ which wasn’t a hard choice for me to make and led me to start Trients. We have an exclusive license worldwide for this program and what we do is to further develop, market and sell this program that has been so successful in Sweden.”
What makes Trients unique and the best choice compared to other solutions on the market?
“Trients software has a significant competitive edge globally as it is the only solution available that accounts for both types of intakes as well as offer an array of additional user-friendly functions, making it state-of-the-art within the field. The software is a standard in Swedish neonatal healthcare and has been scientifically proven to improve nutritional intake and growth. There are other simpler programs on the market that partially accounts for the nutritional intake of the patient. These solutions only account enteral or, alternatively, parenteral nutrition rather than both, and cannot offer the user the true total. This can be problematic as preterm infants, in most cases, go from predominantly parenteral nutrition to predominantly enteral nutrition in a gradually transactional phase.”
So it increases the probability that the baby will develop properly?
“Yes, their brain and other organs develop more adequately. For example, iron deficiency in premature birth can affect children a lot. Studies have shown that if you give children the right amount of iron during their stay in the hospital at premature birth, it improves behavior and concentration already at 3 years of age. Such small changes early on actually have a big impact later in life.”
What is your vision for Trients growth within a 5-year period?
“Initially, we have focused mainly on the European and the Middle Eastern market. This is because in Europe the rules in healthcare are very homogeneous. The Middle East adheres to roughly the same standard as Europe, making it an easy transition. So within that time, I would want us to be established on both of these markets. The United States is a class of its own in terms of regulations; but with that comes great market potential. The United States is a huge and exciting market, so it would have been very exciting to increase our sales and expand our growth in the US. I would also like us to be a few more employees internally, which I think is realistic.”
Is there anything else you want to tell us about Trients?
“It can sound ancient and not modern at all when you say that the program we provide is 15 years old, but since Swedish neonatal care is so far ahead of the rest of the world, especially the field of neonatal nutrition, it’s still more than innovative for the rest of the world. I haven’t found any similar product on any other market than the Swedish one.”