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Ubiquitous monitoring and assessment of childhood obesity


Childhood obesity is a significant health problem in current societies that is increasing at an alarming way among population of all ages. To date, studies on the effectiveness of treatments for childhood obesity in the medium and long term suggest a moderate effect on weight loss and maintenance, which has led to suggestions that early interventions have a preventive nature on adult obesity. The long-term recovery of the weight lost is often associated with a lack of adherence to recommendations for changing life habits. Then, obesity becomes a chronic problem, difficult to approach, and the main difficulty lies in promoting and ensuring adherence to a change in lifestyle. A system known as ETIOBE has been developed to improve the treatment adherence, to promote the mechanisms of self-control in patients and to prevent relapses. An important part of the ETIOBE system is the ubiquitous monitoring platform since it enables the clinician to obtain relevant information from patients (contextual, physiological and psychological), which enables treatment customization and adaptation, depending on the patient’s evolution. The aim of this paper is to describe the monitoring platform which is intended to establish a sensor network whose focus is the obese children under clinical treatment, and the various elements that compose it: electronic PDA records to establish diet habits, HAS: home ambulatory system (data integration of biomedical devices; blood pressure to study hypertension; pulse oximeter to detect Sleep Disorders; and electronic t-shirt to detect physical activity). This paper presents the first validations of the electronic PDA records and the electronic t-shirt. These validations suggest that the monitoring platform can help to achieve the goals previously mentioned, by offering constant support and increasing motivation to change.

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This study was funded by Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia Spain, Project Game Teen (TIN2010-20187) and partially by projects Consolider-C (SEJ2006-14301/ PSIC), “CIBER of Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition, an initiative of ISCIII” and Excellence Research Program PROMETEO (Generalitat Valenciana. Conselleria de Educación, 2008-157).

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Correspondence to Irene Zaragozá.

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Zaragozá, I., Guixeres, J., Alcañiz, M. et al. Ubiquitous monitoring and assessment of childhood obesity. Pers Ubiquit Comput 17, 1147–1157 (2013).

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  • Children obesity
  • E-therapy
  • Physical activity detection
  • Wireless monitoring