Obesity Companion: Losing weight via App
Extreme overweight – known in the medical language as obesity – is not only an enormous suffering, but also means an increased risk for other diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus or arterial hypertonia. For this reason efficient treatment methods are needed to assist patients in losing weight. Thereby, a surgical procedure or behavioral approaches within the scope of an in-patient hospital stay are not sufficient. Rather, a holistic therapeutic care is needed that addresses the nutritional and physical activity and that offers psychological support. For a long-term success it is particularly essential that the patient implements advices and newly learned behaviors after hospitalization also in everyday life and in this way makes a lasting lifestyle change. But this is exactly what is difficult for many persons concerned.
Support in hard times
Fraunhofer ISST has therefore developed the Obesity Companion – an Android-based app that helps obese patients to successfully continue to lose weight at home after an in-patient hospital stay. A prototype of the obesity-companion has been already successfully evaluated in a study with the Gelderland clinic, funded by the Government of North Rhine-Westphalia and the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union. The app does not only combines learning and guiding elements but simultaneously serves as a diary and feedback instrument for the patients. At the same time it offers the possibility to get in touch with other patients.
Thus, the patient e. g. can be reminded of important dates of his daily routine, can document vital signs and subjective feelings and can connect with other users of the Companion. He can also get information about e. g. sports and self-help courses in the region or about suitable menus for his diet.
The Obesity Companion thereby acts both as a mediator between patients, doctors and telemedicine services, through which the patient can always get in touch with a real therapist.
The Obesity Companion convinces with the following services:
- Medically evaluated: In comparison to the majority of circulating Apps on the Internet, the Obesity Companion has been evaluated as part of a study with regard to the medical evidence, treatment adherence, usability and acceptance.
- Privacy in Design: From the design stage, the issue of data protection and data security was considered along the guidelines of the "guidance on the privacy requirements of app developers and app providers" of the Düsseldorfer Kreis.
- Interoperable data exchange: The possibility of inter-sectoral data exchange is a therapy influencing feature. Thus, standards such as the Electronic Case Record (www.fallakte.de) are supported.
- Future medical device: The Obesity Companion is in the future certified along the requirements of the Medical Devices Act (ISO 13485).
The Obesity Companion offers clinics, telemedicine service providers and other companies an efficient means to sustainably accompany and support obese patients on their way to recovery. The App and the required IT infrastructure can be provided under a license agreement. Please contact us for an offer tailored to your needs and requirements.
The obesity companion also allows an adjustment for other medical conditions.