The NY Times has a story on how an increasing number of people are using smart phones to help them lose weight. We’ve all seen many calorie counting apps and fitness apps, but do they really work? As the article mentions, so far there isn’t good data to show these smart phone apps will help your patients lose weight – at least not enough yet – so all you budding researchers should start a trial.

With tens of millions of smart phones sold, it only makes sense for health care practitioners to use these mobile devices to their advantage. We mentioned this some time ago with a post titled, “Optimizing your medical practice experience with the iPod Touch”, where we featured an app talked about in the NY Times, “Lose it!”.

Here is an excerpt from the article we wrote and how you can use the app with your patients.

This is the number one downloaded application in the free healthcare apps category. The application is absolutely fantastic, and I’ve used it on many occasions with patients when counseling on diet and weight loss. The app allows you to count your calories and keep track of your weight.

The highlight of the application is the database of foods it contains. I’m able to ask patients about their diet on a typical day and use the app to show them the total calories incurred (e.g. you can look up the caloric numbers of a Big Mac with detailed nutritional numbers). It allows you to set goals with target weight loss dates, and with motivated patients, I’ve actually sat down and set up specific weight loss programs with them just by using this application.

This is a great application to suggest to patients with iPhones as well.

This app has gotten over five million downloads – yes – five million. So next time you see a patient with an iPhone, and you’re counseling them on weight loss, tell them about Lose it,