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Using mHealth as a Care Management Tool for Bariatric Patients

Eric Wicklund

New York’s Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has launched an NIH-funded study examining how mHealth can help bariatric surgery patients with care management.

Healthcare providers are studying whether a mobile health platform can help patients who have undergone bariatric surgery in managing their weight and addressing mental health issues that sometimes appear after the operation.

In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, researchers at New York’s Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are working with Noom’s mHealth platform to create a digital health care management program that targets the 20 percent of bariatric patients who regain the weight they’d lost and the 30 percent who develop mental health-related side effects.

Dr. Andreas Michaelides, a Bronx-based psychologist and Chief Psychology Officer for Noom, is the lead researcher on the project. mHealthIntelligence recently spoke to him about the project, as well as the promise of and challenges in working with mHealth.

Q. How can an mHealth app improve care management for bariatric surgery patients?

A. An increasing number of weight loss and bariatric surgery apps exist without empirical evidence of safety and efficacy. Potential mechanisms for variability in weight loss following bariatric surgery are poorly understood. While adherence and psychosocial health are likely contributors, limited data are available to comprehensively evaluate influences on post-operative adherence behavior. Furthermore, there are no reliable pre-operative predictors of post-surgery weight loss outcomes, and conflicting data have emerged about the impact of pre-surgery behavioral interventions on post-surgery weight loss.

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