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Published on February 21, 2017 by InBody USA
Restoration Healthcare is Southern California’s data-driven Functional Medicine practice. By partnering with patients to discover and treat root malfunctions that lead to chronic illness, Restoration Healthcare helps people live long and healthy lives. Unlike other medical practices where turnkey solutions to complex symptoms are prescribed, Restoration Healthcare’s doctors’ protocols are handcrafted and personalized for each patient using their up-to-date health-related data and objectives in mind.
While searching for a device to assist with their weight loss program, the practice discovered the InBody 770. Although initially planning to use it solely for weight loss intervention programs, Restoration Healthcare soon discovered that the wealth of objective data the InBody 770 provided – particularly Visceral Fat Area and Phase Angle – allowed them to validate their programs and provide data-driven healthcare solutions, the likes of which they never could before
Delivering Answers When Before, There Were None
Restoration Healthcare is a paragon of the way medicine is transforming in the 21st century. Their doctors leave their white coats in their closets and instead partner with the patients, learning everything they can about their medical and personal histories to find custom-tailed solutions for each patient that can provide answers when more traditional methods have failed.
How does Restoration Healthcare find these answers? The secret lies with a firm belief in the value of objective measurements and a culture of relying on data.
“We have a core value to data. We want people to feel better, but we want to make sure that we’re moving their physiology and progressing them objectively of getting better,” said Dr. Tom Bakman, president of Restoration Healthcare.
With this in mind, about two years ago the practice began a search for a device that could help provide better solutions for patients interested in proactively managing their weight. After reviewing several other similar machines - including supine-position devices - Restoration Healthcare came across the InBody 770. Almost immediately, they recognized the potential impact the machine could have at the practice with the data and the outputs it provides.
“We gravitated to that for the features that it had. It not only breaks down the body composition…but it gives us other data, too,” said Bakman. “It gives us the Visceral Fat Area, which gives us an indication of their cardiovascular risk. It gives us the Phase Angle, which is a research term that basically tells the health of the cell. And, we like that data.”
Data To Uncover Root Causes
As a functional medicine group, Restoration Healthcare prides itself on taking a “systems approach” to health. They prefer to look at the ‘why’, not the ‘what.’
The practice has extensive experiences working with athletes, who often come in for repetitive trauma issues resulting from their particular sport. For these patients, Restoration Healthcare relies on a specialized feature of the InBody to uncover clues that can lie in an athlete’s body composition.
“If we have an athlete, especially a runner, who’s having issues…I look at the segmental composition, [which breaks] down the right leg from the left,” said Bakman. “If they have much more muscle mass in one leg compared to the other, we can trace it back.”
According to the practice, these issues are common and can result from many different underlying issues. Sometimes, there’s a previous injury the athlete sustained, which could be causing chronic pain that causes the athlete to favor one leg over the other. Other times, it could be a neurological deficit. Regardless of the root cause, the data revealed by the InBody empowers Restoration Healthcare to discover the ‘why,’ so they can begin addressing it.
“It gives us a way then to start tracing it back to the cause, and then we implement a program. And, when we recheck it, if we start balancing it, we know that we’re doing our job,” said Bakman.
Validating Programs With Data Tracking
When it comes to any medical program or practice, success occurs when a patient feels better, or when they experience a notable change in the condition they originally came in to have treated.
However, that type of validation only comes at the end. What happens if a program turns out to be ineffective, or what if it is effective – but change comes slowly and incrementally? Restoration Healthcare finds the data tracking capabilities on the InBody 770 Result Sheet to be instrumental in showing the effectiveness of his programs.
“If we’re having a patient that we’re doing a biodentical hormone program with, we can track on a monthly basis how well they’re progressing. It’s pretty impressive to see the changes, and we wouldn’t be able to do that unless it was for the unit itself,” said Bakman.
Bakman recalled a particularly memorable instance in which he was able to powerfully leverage InBody data tracking to create significant change for a patient. “We had a gentleman…he had a high level of anxiety. He wasn’t working out…his Visceral Fat Area was off the chart; he was highly inflamed. His Phase Angle was low. He was at 35 percent body fat," said Bakman. "It was cold reality check for him.”
With this data in hand, the practice put this patient on a biodentical hormone program to start and counseled him on lifestyle changes he could make that would improve his body composition.
Three months later, when looking at the data, the results were extremely positive: the patient had gained nine (9) pounds of Lean Body Mass and dropped his overall body fat by 5 percent; but the most exciting result was the decrease in the inflammatory visceral fat level: it had dropped by 40 percent.
“You think this guy’s happy?” said Bakman. “He’s incredibly happy, and it wasn’t until we got the data for him to show it. He’s really happy about where he’s going with his health.”
Finding Success With “Show Me” not “Tell Me”
The success of Restoration Healthcare can be credited in part to the data-driven approach they have taken since the founding of the practice, and the InBody 770 has proven to be a perfect tool to support this working philosophy. The data-backed treatments and solutions Restoration Healthcare has been able to provide have grown the reputation of the group and kept patients coming back.
“I think it’s solidified us more. [Southern California] is a highly competitive area for functional medicine,” said Bakman. “In doing so, we want to make sure we’re data-driven; that we’re being honest with ourselves and we’re being honest with our patients. So, if something isn’t working, we can make another, better decision.” he said.
Restoration’s practice has evolved over the past two years since they’ve had the InBody 770. What was first just a means to help with weight loss has now become a crucial component to each program and every patient the practice’s doctors see. And, it’s had an impact on the bottom line.
“I started in my mind putting it in a business model,” he said. “If it helped people realize data to make decisions, that worked better for us. If it helped them keep compliant, it was better for us.”
Today, Restoration Healthcare continues to provide answers to a wide variety of patients and a whole array of concerns. Data powers the practice, and it’s even led to a small change in mentality in terms of how Bakman treats overweight patients: “In fact, we don’t really do weight loss,” reflected Bakman. “We get people healthy, and they lose weight.”
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