Noom's diabetes prevention app posts strong clinical results

Mobile health coaching specialist Noom has announced results of a peer-reviewed study of its diabetes prevention app that showed comparable results to traditional prevention programs.

As published in the British Medical Journal Open Diabetes Research & Care, Noom’s mobile app helped 64% of patients lose more than 5% of their weight over 24 weeks. The app is the first fully mobile diabetes prevention program with such clinical results to show.

In the past, Noom has focused on direct-to-consumer weight loss and exercise-tracking apps, boasting over 45 million users around the world. The CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program is a public-private partnership to develop and foster lifestyle plans for people at risk for diabetes, and Noom has expanded its health apps to be a part of the agency’s initiative.

Using the app, participants logged meals and tracked their weight with help from human coaches and access to a forum for community support.

In addition to the weight-loss results, engagement with the app proved high--84% of users completed the program.

"The research from the mobile DPP found the positive effects of food logging, consistent weight checks and coaching relationships were consistent to the same effects seen from research conducted with an in-person DPP," Noom Chief of Psychology Andreas Michaelides said in a statement. "These results demonstrate there is an opportunity for employers and payers to significantly reduce their healthcare costs by implementing mobile behavior change programs like Noom's diabetes prevention program. It has comparable results to the CDC's in-person DPP without the high cost or the difficulty in recruiting. It's a game changer."