Molly Hegarty

Molly Hegarty

Founder and CEO, RDnote

Molly Hegarty was working as a nutritionist for offshore oilfield workers in the Gulf of Mexico in 2014 when she decided to use her engineering background and computer skills to launch RDnote, a digital health startup based in the New Orleans BioInnovation Center.

The startup has developed a patent-pending software that helps connect hospitals to patients’ medical records and clinical information. It also provides customizable interventions and decision-making support to physicians to help them determine dietary and nutrition recommendations for patients with, or at high-risk for, chronic disease.

In February, the Lafayette General Foundation awarded RDnote $250,000 in seed investment through its subsidiary Healthcare Innovation Fund. The funding is allowing RDnote to develop a pilot program in partnership with Lafayette General Health System.

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“We’re trying to change healthcare through nutrition and technology,” Hegarty said.

The software has the potential to improve quality of care for patients struggling with chronic conditions, including congestive heart failure and diabetes.

“It helps translate to improved patient outcomes, better care coordination, and less time spent charting,” she said. “It’s giving doctors the right information at the right time.”

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Hegarty hopes to expand the program to other hospital systems in the region.

Originally from Connecticut, Hegarty earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering and a master’s degree from Bastyr University’s School of Nutrition and Exercise Science. She lived on the West Coast before moving to New Orleans for a dietetic internship at Tulane University’s School of Public Health.

“I was supposed to be here for 10 months,” she said. “That was seven years ago. I absolutely love it here, both in the city and around Louisiana.”

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