Human Relationships and Digital Weight Management Technology

Michelle Harricharan, Julie Barnett, Raymond Gemen, Laura Fernández Celemín

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


With global obesity levels rising to epidemic levels and health services being stretched to meet increasing demand, many researchers and health practitioners are turning to digital weight management technology, particularly mobile apps, to support the care process. Many available apps, however, are not designed to support routine healthcare. Indeed, many ‘lifestyle apps’ do not reflect core facets of the care process. Also, many available apps do not seem to be grounded in any theory or research evidence, nor do they involve practitioners widely in their design and development.

With these issues in mind we developed the myPace platform, a weight management system deployed via a smartphone and PC. Informed by the European dietetic community, myPace was designed to complement and support the trusted face to face patient-practitioner relationship – a relationship that has been shown to directly influence patient adherence, motivation and, in weight management in particular, to effect greater weight loss. The myPace system supports and extends that important relationship between consultations through regular patient progress updates and dietitians’ tailored and timely advice and encouragement to enable change.

The platform was developed from research into behaviour change for weight loss and further underpinned by design elements that foster human engagement with technology to enable sustained behaviour change. Unlike human to technology models where users interact solely with technology, myPace is about people connecting and interacting with each other supported by technology. The human support model that underpins the design of myPace, the supportive accountability framework, will likely play an important role in future digital health technology.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 7 May 2015
Event22 European Congress on Obesity (ECO 2015) - Prague Congress Centre (PCC), Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 6 May 20159 May 2015


Conference22 European Congress on Obesity (ECO 2015)
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic


  • digital health
  • mHealth
  • weight management
  • dietitian
  • personalised care


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