AI coaching app assists at-risk patients in preventing type 2 diabetes

As the number of individuals with type 2 diabetes increases, researchers search for a way to prevent or slow the progression of diabetes in at-risk patients. According to a study published in JMIR Diabetes, an artificial intelligence (AI) coaching platform could improve habits to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

As obesity in the United States increases, diet and lifestyle are often the difference in at-risk patients developing type 2 diabetes. In response, researchers in this study evaluated the effectiveness of an AI coaching platform to improve patient behaviors.

The study evaluated the factors of weight loss, changes in meal quality and app utilization in users of the Lark Weight Loss Health Coach AI (HCAI). A total of 70 patients with a BMI above 25 used HCAI to measure its effect in promoting weight loss and healthy diet choices though cognitive behavioral therapy.

Overall, participants used the app for an average of 15 weeks, each partaking in attended 103 sessions. The app was able to increase the number of healthy meals by 31 percent while also receiving a 100 percent response to trust and a satisfaction score of 87 percent.

“This study showed that use of an AI health coach is associated with weight loss comparable to in-person lifestyle interventions,” concluded first author Natalie Stein, MPH, MSc Nutrition, and colleagues. “It can also encourage behavior changes and have high user acceptability. Research into AI and its application in telemedicine should be pursued, with clinical trials investigating effects on weight, health behaviors, and user engagement and acceptability.”