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New AI tool makes it possible to predict weight loss after bariatric surgery

Posted 30 August, 2023

First-time patients in need of bariatric surgery will now be able to predict their weight loss ahead of undergoing a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy operation.

A new AI driven web-tool developed by University of Lille and supported by the European Union SOPHIA project led by University College Dublin now allows patients and their doctors to accurately predict weight loss over five years following different types of bariatric surgery.

“Usually, weight loss after bariatric surgery vary widely and predicting weight loss was difficult,” said (opens in a new window)Professor Carel le Roux, from the UCD School of Medicine, co-ordinator of the SOPHIA consortium.

“Using artificial intelligence, we’ve developed a new pre-surgery prediction tool - created with data from eight counties in Europe, America, and Asia.”

(opens in a new window)Publishing their findings in The Lancet Digital Health, SOPHIA researchers used data from 9,861 patients as part of the project - with 385 relevant measures taken to decide on the seven most valuable variables for accurately predicting weight loss post-bariatric surgery.

This include height, weight, type of operation, age, diabetes status, diabetes duration, and smoking status.

The prediction tool is the most accurate approach to predicting weight loss post-surgery created so far, and is likely to only improve over the next two years given the on-going European Union project SOPHIA’s investment.

“The tool will substantially reduce uncertainty for patients as they can now make a much more informed decision about which surgical option to select. This is why we developed and validated this easy-to-use tool to predict an individual’s 5 year-weight loss after the most common bariatric operations,” said lead author Professor Francois Pattou, Lille University, France.

“Patients and clinicians are now able to make more informed decisions about which surgical option to select.”
Obesity affects 150 million people in Europe and 650 million worldwide, and increases the risk of health complications like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

The aim of SOPHIA is to improve the ability to predict how patients will respond best to different obesity treatments and to help minimise complications.

The five-year project is funded under the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), Europe’s largest public-private initiative, a joint undertaking between the European Union (represented by the European Commission) and the European pharmaceutical industry (represented by EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations).

IMI facilitates collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, the pharmaceutical and other industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organisations, and medicines regulators.

Professor Carel le Roux serves on the advisory boards for Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, NovoNordisk, Eli Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim, Keyron, GI Dynamics, Glia Pharmaceuticals, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, and Currax Pharma.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie