PathMate2 - Design and Evaluation of an IT-based High-Outreach Intervention for Overweight Children and Teenagers

Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) & German Research Foundation (DFG)
Duration: 30 Months
Budget: CHF 400.000

The goal of the research project PathMate2 is to help support obese children, their parents and their physicians with modern technology in creating a healthier lifestyle. Computer scientists, engineers and medical experts are collaborating in this interdisciplinary project in order to develop an information system which will allow obese children and their physicians to stay in touch. Some of the good intentions and plans made during on-site consultations are forgotten soon thereafter. It is therefore especially important that obese children make the right decisions in their lifestyle and diet in their everyday life. With the help of PathMate2, physicians will be able to analyze the data of their patients in real time, provide them with tips or challenges tailored to their needs, and thus motivate them to make healthier choices.

pathmate 2

Motivation

In Switzerland, one out of five children remain overweight or obese and novel methods are needed to control the epidemic. Severe co-morbidities appear already during childhood, track into adulthood obesity in more than 75% and contribute to a drastic increase in public health costs due to overweight and obesity-related co-morbidities. Multi-professional programs combining physical activity, nutritional and behavioral components have positive effects on therapy outcomes. However, these interventions are cost-intensive and time-consuming for both health providers and overweight children and their parents, in particular, those living in rural regions.

Objective

Building upon past experience and preliminary results of PathMate1 with a limited number of children and teenagers, the follow-up project PathMate2 has the following objectives: * To establish evidence-based obesity interventions that move the focus from on-site consultations in expensive and highly specialized obesity centers to appealing, child-friendly IT-mediated low-threshold interventions under the supervision of general practitioners and obesity expert teams; * To automatically capture and process obesity-related biosignals by smart sensors and using results for immediate feedback for patients, medical personnel, and others based on permissions and communication patterns; * To design evidence-based self-regulation interventions for children and teenagers in their everyday life by coupling Neuro-Information-System services with Smart Health Sensors.

The goals of the project are not only to improve the personal situation of the children and to lower the costs in health care in general. It is the explicit objective of the research team to make a significant contribution in the improvement of the quality of information systems in healthcare.

Consortium

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Contact

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Maaß