SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Mobile health coaching apps can help overweight patients lose weight and manage high blood pressure, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
“Mobile phone app-based health coaching interventions can be an acceptable and effective means to promote weight loss and improve blood pressure management in overweight or obese individuals,” wrote the study’s author, Dr. J Nwando Olayiwola of the University of California San Francisco.
The retrospective study used existing registry data from a pilot commercial collaboration between Vida Health and a large national insurance provider, which enrolled adult members who were overweight and able to engage in a mobile phone-based coaching intervention. Participants received four months of intensive health coaching via live video, phone and text message through the Vida Health app. Participants were also provided with a wireless scale, pedometer and blood pressure cuff.
Participants in the intervention group lost an average of 3.23% total body weight after four months of coaching and 28.6% intervention participants achieved a clinically significant weight loss of 5% or more, with an average of 9.46% weight loss in the intervention group. In the matched-pair control group, participants gained on average 1.81% total body weight in four months without Vida coaching and lost, on average, 2.47% total body weight after four months of Vida coaching.
Participants also improved their blood pressure at the four-month mark.
“Given the ubiquity of mobile phones, digital health coaching may be an innovative solution to decreasing barriers of access to much-needed weight management interventions for obesity,” wrote Olayiwola.