How Chronic Care Management Addresses the Obesity Crisis

Digital Health, using Chronic Care Management and Remote Patient Monitoring, is playing a crucial part in combating the global obesity crisis. Here’s how.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases (NCDs)—also known as chronic diseases—kill 41 million people each year, which is equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally. Tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol, and unhealthy diets all increase the risk of dying from an NCD.

 

Improving clinical outcomes, widening access to care, and improving efficiency will play a vital part in healthcare reform as the incidence of chronic diseases continues to grow—and chronic care management along with focused clinical programs are playing a crucial part in this transformation. Let’s take a closer look at how it can help.

Why is Obesity a Health Emergency?

 

We’ve all tried to fit into a pair of jeans that felt a bit tighter than we’d like. But at what point does that extra inch on the waist become a global health emergency? 

Generally, men with a waist size of 38 inches and above and women with a waist size of 32 inches or more, are likely to develop obesity-related conditions. Once a person is officially obese, their risk of developing a number of serious illnesses and health conditions increases. These include the following: 

 

  • Type two diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease, caused by high cholesterol and atherosclerosis 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Stroke
  • Asthma 
  • Metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes
  • Gallstones
  • Certain types of cancer, including breast cancer and bowel cancer
  • Liver disease and kidney disease
  • Sleep apnea 
  • Reduced fertility and an increase in pregnancy complications

Obesity also increases a person’s risk of developing depression and low self-esteem. Problems such as breathlessness, snoring, tiredness, low confidence, and difficulty doing physical activity can all lead to a lower overall quality of life, creating a vicious cycle in which poor health perpetrates more unhealthy lifestyle choices. 

 

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What Needs to be Done to Stem the Obesity Crisis?

 

One of the most important ways to reduce deaths from chronic diseases is to control unhealthy lifestyle choices that lead to their development and worsen symptoms once they’re established. These include limiting alcohol and tobacco usage, as well as adopting a healthy diet and maintaining an active lifestyle. 

 

Addressing these risk factors not only saves lives—but it also takes the strain off healthcare systems, which comes with economic benefits.

 

Combating obesity and other chronic illnesses depends on more than just primary care interventions. It requires the shared efforts of clinics and community healthcare systems. 

 

In other words, reform is vital if we’re to stem the obesity crisis.

 

How Chronic Care Management Can Help

 

Chronic Care Management (CCM) is remote care coordination that is provided to patients who have at least two chronic conditions—which many of those living with diabetes have. Remote Patient Monitoring, also know as Remote Physiological Monitoring, (RPM) is monitoring patient remotely using a device that provides real-time feedback to a clinician for the purposes of guidance and coaching. 

 

The healthcare industry is undergoing massive reform, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many practices and patients to communicate virtually—something that’s proven massively popular. We’re now seeing a huge rise in digital healthcare services, including telehealth, telemedicine, and Remote Patient Monitoring

 

RPM in particular has proven helpful in the care and management of chronic conditions such as obesity. Monitoring a patient’s vital signs remotely gives patients more control over their health without the need for constant check-ups and in-person visits, while practitioners can use these insights to provide better health advice for obese patients. 

 

Having regular feedback while being able to monitor their own progress helps patients feel empowered and motivated to make healthier lifestyle changes. Regular contact also strengthens the patient-doctor relationship and means the latter can also act as mentor and coach, helping the patient feel supported in their journey towards better health. Here are three more benefits:

  • Chronic Care Management Focuses on Patient Engagement 

Successful obesity treatment requires behavioral changes that engage patients—including preparing healthy foods and getting more exercise.

  • Established Chronic Care Management Reduces the Stigma Surrounding Obesity 

Restructuring clinical services and making obesity management easier and more effective, while training health professionals to learn behavioral strategies, will make obesity management an established part of chronic care management. 

  • CCM and RPM Improves the Relationship Between Patient and Physician

Remote care systems can help patients lose or maintain their weight through regular coaching and nutrition counseling. Patients can also receive specialist support to help them manage ongoing secondary health conditions, such as depression or high blood pressure. 

 

The Obstacles to Chronic Care Support and How to Overcome Them 

 

Despite the benefit of chronic care management, it’s not without issues. It relies heavily on technology, and like all technology-based services, it needs to be managed properly for patients to see the benefits. The biggest problem is accessibility and engagement. If the technology doesn’t work or it’s too complicated, then patients won’t want to use it. 

 

Providers should therefore invest in intuitive systems, then show patients how to use them correctly. Choose an established provider that offers a range of technological solutions that meet your—and your patients’—requirements. 

 

How Can ChronWell Help?

 

We provide technology, services, and insights to better manage care for those living with chronic conditions such as obesity and secondary illnesses.

 

With the support of dedicated healthcare professionals and specialists, ChronWell offers chronic care management solutions including Remote Physiologic Monitoring that help individuals with obesity and their families achieve better outcomes and a higher quality of life.

Through our LIVErHEALTHY program, in partnership with Echosens and ModifyHealth, we have a turn-key approach for Gastroenterologists, Endocrinologists, and Primary Care Physicians.

If you’d like to find out more about digital healthcare solutions for chronic conditions, speak to one of our experts today.

 

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