Pediatric obesity patients like telehealth support: UCLA study

Some positive directional results were obtained by researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles trialling a pediatric telehealth/telemedicine check-up program integrating telemedicine virtual consults at clinic sites. From the 45 young (average age 10), obese patients enrolled in ‘Fit for Healthy Weight’, the 25 patients who were followed after their appointment series had overall positive outcomes and opinions: 86 percent either stabilized or decreased their BMI scores and three of the four patients with high blood pressure normalized their blood pressure; 80 percent were satisfied with the virtual consult system and would do it again. Health check-ins were onsite at two family clinics in Santa Monica and South Gate, and the consults were with UCLA Westwood’s team of a pediatrician, a psychologist and/or a dietitian (frequency not disclosed). For those not familiar with LA, these are substantial distances particularly for families with limited transportation options in a car-driven city. This small study did reveal some technical problems in implementing the secure, encrypted video systems in the family clinics, but overall points to a positive direction in placing telemedicine as a key part of a program. (And anecdotally, the children thought it was fun, an important factor in making weight loss palatable to this age group.) UCLA Newsroom article  Hat tip to Editor Chrys Meewella

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