App Helps Combat Childhood Obesity and Heart Disease

By Wylie Wong Print this article Print

Using a trendy technology to communicate vital health information.

What better way is there to engage and teach children and their parents about staying healthy and fit than with an iPad? Mid Valley Family Practice, in Basalt, Colo., is doing just that in an effort to reduce child obesity and cardiovascular risks.

When children arrive at Dr. Glenn Kotz’s examination room, they are given an iPad, which they and their parents use to answer a series of health-related questions, such as how often they eat snacks and consume sweet drinks, and how often they exercise.

After answering the questionnaire, the Web-based application by HeartSmartKids analyzes the data and provides the doctor with a summary of the patient’s cardiovascular risk profile, which the doctor can print out. The summary includes the child’s body mass index, as well as recommendations for a healthier lifestyle, such as reducing sweet drinks to one can a day.

“The tool engages the kids, and it gives me a wonderful page of data to talk to their parents about recommendations,” Kotz says.

The clinical decision-support tool is the brainchild of Kevin Gilbert, CEO of HeartSmartKids. He uses Trellia software, now owned by Wyse Technology, for mobile device management and security. “I can configure an iPad remotely and lock it down, so children can access only that application,” Gilbert explains.  

This article was originally published on 2012-01-19
Wylie Wong is a freelance writer for Baseline magazine.
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