Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Treating Obesity and Other Related Conditions with Telehealth

According to the Health Resources Services Administration, telehealth may be defined as "the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration." Telehealth has the potential to improve the treatment of overweight, obesity and related diseases.

A Finnish study analyzed the outcomes of their healthy weight coaching (HWC) program. This is a "web-based obesity management program integrated into standard Finnish clinical care." The program lasts 12 months. And the participants receive coaching support, remotely, in a one-on-one format. The researchers concluded that the HWC is an effective program for helping participants lose weight. And that the program can be integrated into a clinical setting.  

A 2009 study was done in Ottawa Canada to determine the effectiveness of telehealth for home health care. In the study, literature was analyzed to compare the benefits of treating diabetes using telehealth versus treating diabetes using common diabetes treatment procedures. It was found that patients who received treatment via telehealth had a higher quality of life, and experienced less hospitalization than diabetes patients receiving the normal diabetes treatment.

Although the leaders of the Canadian study indicated that more research needs to be done, as stated above, telehealth improved quality-of life and reduced hospitalizations. The use of telehealth also improved glycemic control and patient satisfaction.

A 2007 study was done in the United States to establish the effectiveness of telehealth in treating obesity.  Three weight loss programs were compared. These programs were telehealth, traditional classes, and no program. The study looked at the amount of weight participants regained in each program. The study also assessed a participants' satisfaction with a given program, and the convenience of a program for the participants. Participants in the telehealth program lost slightly more weight than participants in the other two programs.

However, the difference in weight loss was not enormous. But the telehealth group found the telehealth program to be more convenient. And convenience  is important in trying to modify a lifestyle. If one program is more convenient to follow than another, a person is more likely to follow the more convenient program.

Telehealth may elevate the treatment of obesity by making it easier to modify lifestyle. Healthcare providers are paying close attention to telehealth methodology, not only in the fight again overweight and obesity, but, also, in the treatment of other medical conditions.


Tags: , , , , bariatric medicine,obesity medicine,medical practice start up,bariatric industry analysis, weight loss industry analysis, weight management industry analysis


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