American Medical Association offers weight loss app

By Brian Dolan
03:47 pm
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AMA Weight What Matters appAt the end of January the American Medical Association (AMA) offered up its second consumer facing smartphone app: Weigh What Matters. The free app, which is available for Apple iOS and Android devices, aims to help people work with their physicians to set up health goals and track their progress toward meeting them. The app includes weight, diet, and activity goals and tracking mechanisms.

According to the AMA: "Once goals are established, users can track their weight, physical activity and nutrition with daily entries. It also calculates a user's Body Mass Index (BMI) and provides a mechanism to view progress reports and email them to the user's physician."

The most notable thing about the AMA's app launch is that its existence may alert some physicians to the existence of mobile health apps. AMA President Dr. Peter Carmel stated in a press release that the app "encourages user to consult with their physicians" on establishing health goals.

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The association could certainly help physicians find apps to use during patient visits, but it is a shame that the AMA is reinventing the wheel by developing their own one-note wellness tracking and medication adherence apps when there are already hundreds of such apps available and in use. The AMA could better use its influence to create it own certification program (like Happtique is doing) of health and medical apps that it suggests physicians use with patients and patients use in consultation with their doctors.

More on the AMA's latest consumer app in the press release below:

PRESS RELEASE: Chicago – Many Americans resolved to become healthier in the new year, but are having trouble monitoring their progress to achieve their goals. Now there's an app for that. The American Medical Association (AMA) released a free app today to help patients improve their overall health as part of the AMA Healthier Life Steps program, which promotes healthy choices and healthy lives.

"Every January, Americans implement New Year's resolutions that involve healthy eating and increased physical activity," said AMA President Peter W. Carmel, M.D. "This new app encourages people to work with their physicians to set healthy goals, and it allows users to track their progress and accomplish their goals."

The Weigh What Matters app is free, easy to use and encourages users to consult with their physician to establish personal health goals for three categories: weight, eating and activity. Once goals are established, users can track their weight, physical activity and nutrition with daily entries. It also calculates a user's Body Mass Index (BMI) and provides a mechanism to view progress reports and email them to the user's physician.

"The AMA Healthier Life Steps program offers tools and information to help physicians and patients work together to promote longer, healthier lives," said Dr. Carmel. "Physicians and their staff can use this new app as a resource to work with patients to address challenging behavioral changes."

The Weigh What Matters App is the first AMA app that will be available in both the iTunes Store and the Android Marketplace. Download the app.

For more information about AMA Healthier Life Steps, visit www.ama-assn.org/go/lifesteps.

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