MINNEAPOLIS – Can telehealth help obese patients lose weight?
Weight management experts at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, sought to find out through a unique program to provide practice support to rural health care providers.
The telehealth program gives health clinics in rural South Carolina access to teams of weight management experts and support through mHealth applications linking providers and clinical faculty.
The project includes biweekly group patient sessions led by a psychologist, registered dietitian, and exercise physiologist. The program uses videoconferencing systems and a provider-focused mobile app that captures weight and blood pressure data from wireless peripherals, while allowing for manual input of data.
In a video interview at the American Telemedicine Association annual conference, Ragan Aleise DuBose-Morris, Ph.D., director of telehealth education for the Medical University of South Carolina, and Joshua Brown, Ph.D., director of clinical services at the university’s Weight Management Center, discussed the weight management initiative and its effectiveness. Dr. DuBose-Morris and Dr. Brown also explained how the initiative was designed, and how the effort has impacted the weight of obese patients in the state.