Telemedicine can help bridge the gap in Obesity and Weight Loss management: Report

We know that telemedicine has been a huge factor in providing care to people who were not really able to get it because of certain reasons including the pandemic as well. It is worth noting that during the pandemic, the usage of telemedicine was its peak because people couldn’t visit in-person for obvious reasons. However, it is known that a lot of them have started to think of telemedicine as a great alternative to in-person clinic visits because of the fact that it saves time and even costs way less than regular checkups because of commute and other factors involved in a physical visit.

Lead author of a paper which gives us an idea about the impact of telemedicine on obesity and weight loss management, Scott Kahan, says that “Healthcare providers and policymakers increasingly recognize the potential of telemedicine and remote healthcare”. He adds that “Use of telemedicine for the management of chronic diseases, including obesity, is vital to support access to high-quality healthcare, especially for persons with mobility issues, those who are under- or uninsured and those living in geographical areas with limited healthcare options.” As per an estimate, “by 2030 nearly 80% of adults in the United States will have pre-obesity or obesity”. This is a terrifying stat and one that should trigger an immediate response because if the vast majority of the citizens are overweight or obese then the country can’t function properly.

According to a recent study done on the effects of telemedicine, it was found that “patients who participated in a weight-loss intervention visit via videoconference, compared with those who attended in person, showed a 96% retention rate for those who participated virtually, compared to 70% for the in-person group”. As per a 2016 report in the US, “61% of healthcare institutions in the United States were using some version of telemedicine”. But a report from the CDC on the adoption of telemedicine during the pandemic reveals that “there was a 154% increase in telehealth visits during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic”. It is estimated that even 5% of overall weight loss due to telemedicine can reduce fatal diseases like heart attacks.

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