Allurion, a company dedicated to ending obesity, has unveiled the findings of landmark behavioral science research that could pave the way for the expansion of text- and AI-based coaching.

The results of the study – conducted in the UK and the Netherlands by Dr. Paul Sacher, Allurion’s VP of Behavioral Science, and Dr. Emily Fulton, Allurion’s Director of Psychology – were presented at the 8th Canadian Obesity Summit in Whistler, Canada.

The study evaluated a health coach-led, digital behavior change program delivered entirely by text-based messaging. It was designed to drive patient behavior change, improve wellbeing, and sustain weight loss.

The digital behavior change coaching intervention, offered alongside the Allurion Program, was integrated into Allurion’s Virtual Care Suite (VCS)*, providing a seamless patient experience. Coaches supported patients by delivering a proprietary, evidence-based behavior change program that was developed using an internationally recognized behavioral science framework. The coaching included advice on goal setting and action planning and support to manage the emotional challenges associated with weight loss. It also offered personalized weight, activity, and sleep tracking feedback.

The study, presented by Dr. Sacher, explored how patients responded to the text-based digital health coaching. Data demonstrated high patient acceptability, with 77% of patients agreeing that the coaching helped them reach their weight-loss goals and 80% of patients putting Allurion’s proprietary weight-loss actions into practice. Patients also reported improved eating (85%) and physical activity habits (83%), while 85% felt in control of their weight-loss journey. At 6 months, study participants had significantly improved psychological and mental wellbeing, critical for longer-term success.

The findings from this research have already been incorporated into the VCS. With the launch of My Daily Actions, patients and healthcare providers now have access to elements of the behavior change program from this landmark study.

The study also included the largest-ever qualitative evaluation of patients with an intragastric balloon, providing a deeper understanding of the experiences of this patient group. Allurion’s Behavioral Science Team conducted dozens of in-depth interviews with Allurion Program patients from across the UK and the Netherlands. “We gained invaluable insights into the patient experience, including expectations around treatment goals, mindset, attitudes, beliefs, support preferences, and barriers to change,” said Dr. Fulton. “Listening and responding to our patients’ needs is crucial for achieving our mission to end obesity.”

Patients reported that the Allurion Program, combined with the digital coaching program, helped them lose weight not only due to the reduced hunger and increased satiety resulting from the balloon, but also due to a “shifted mindset”. They reported more control over their eating, increased confidence, and a perceived ability to change their behavior.

“These promising research findings underpin current efforts at Allurion to harness Artificial Intelligence (AI) to further enhance the Virtual Care Suite” said Dr. Sacher.

“With the significant advances in AI natural language processing, I see potential in automating health-coaching functions to unlock the next generation of behavior change programs,” said Professor Regina Barzilay, Distinguished Professor for AI and Health at MIT’s School of Engineering and member of Allurion’s Scientific Advisory Board.

Source: Company Press Release