INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of digital technologies in the follow-up and treatment of obesity patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
METHODS: Prospective case-control study was carried out at the Obesity Centre of Antalya Training & Research Hospital. While 30 obese patients in the project group were followed and guided 7/24 for three months with smartphones/smart wristbands, 27 control patients were followed up with face-to-face meetings every two weeks as standard. Project group patients were evaluated in terms of calorie consumption, conditions regarding exercises, sleep and stress, and laboratory data in addition to anthropometric measurements at the beginning and end of the project, while control group patients were evaluated only in terms of anthropometric measurements.
RESULTS: Mean age of patients in the project group was 42.57 ± 7.57 years, and the control group was 54.63 ± 6.20 years. Of all the patients, 94.74% of them were female, while 5.26% were male. At the end of the project, the weight of the project group patients dropped from 92.25 kg to 89.70 kg, and their BMI from 35.60 kg/m2 to 34.80 kg/m2 (p<0.001). In addition, a statistically significant decrease was found in laboratory parameters such as HbA1c and triglyceride levels, as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressures. There was a minimal decline in weight and BMI of the control group, which was not statistically significant.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Online and/or smartphone/smart wristband-based follow-up and guidance can be used as an effective method in the treatment of patients with obesity who do not tend to go to the hospital due to pandemics.