Utilising AI Technology to Prevent Morbidly Obese Lifestyles

12 October 2023
A woman in a lab coat pointing at a computer screen displaying bariatric treatments for weight loss.

In a society where most people struggle with weight challenge, ranging from being slightly overweight to morbidly obese, new hope is emerging on the Artificial Intelligence (AI) horizon.  

The hotly contested AI realm is unveiling its potential as a supportive ally in an individual’s health journey, promising an empathetic and nuanced approach to weight management. 

Two in three Australian adults are living with overweight or obesity, which is around 12.5 million adults, prompting continued research into this field. 

According to a landmark study by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, AI harbours the potential to predict when a person is about to disengage from an online weight loss program. 

This remarkable feature of AI acts as a subtle reminder, encouraging individuals to remain committed to their health goals. 


From the Researchers 

Study researcher, Dr. Aida Brankovic at CSIRO’s Australian e-Health Research Centre, envisions this technology as a significant ally in promoting sustained engagement with healthier lifestyles.  

“Despite the growing application and adoption of technology in health interventions, one persistent challenge remains – engagement deterioration or non-usage attrition,” Dr Brankovic said. 

“The successful machine learning model used in the study predicted disengagement from the program on a weekly basis, based on the user’s total activity on the platform, including weight entries from the weeks prior. 

“With this information, digital health interventions can become more tailored, supportive and offer users a greater chance of making long-term lifestyle changes. 

“Importantly, the machine learning model used in this study can also be adjusted and applied to large cohorts of data in other online programs requiring engagement.” 


Hope for the Future 

The aim of using AI is to facilitate long-term lifestyle changes that are not just beneficial but resonate well with everyone’s pace and preferences. 

This innovation could potentially be a supportive tool guiding many towards a healthier living, steering clear from the risk of a morbidly obese BMI. 

It hints at a possibility where technology serves not as a cold, distant entity but as a compassionate assistant, helping us as our constant motivator and companion.  

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