Highmark Inc. and Healthrageous, Inc., a digital health management company, announced today they are evaluating a lifestyle behavior modification program to improve the health status of people with Type 2 diabetes. The goal of the program is to use technology in a way that makes the personalized journey of self-managing diabetes easier and more effective.
Healthrageous' digital diabetes program takes into account an individual's needs and preferences to create a personalized experience for the participant, focusing on the lifestyle behaviors that impact managing diabetes. This pilot program will combine digital coaching and a wireless glucose meter to evaluate the impact of the intervention on changes in lifestyle behaviors, glucose control additional medical parameters and medication adherence.
Highmark, through a partnership with Florida Blue Cross Blue Shield, is working with Acosta Sales and Marketing, a self-insured employer based in Jacksonville to offer the diabetes self-management program to its employees who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
"Our hope is to test the impact of this new technology on a member's ability to gain control of and maintain his/her blood glucose levels," said Paul Puopolo, vice president of business innovation and development at Highmark. "Our long-term expectation is that by combining the use of an innovative blood glucose meter that can transfer the consumer data to a digital health coaching and engagement platform, we will facilitate positive behavior and lifestyle changes, ultimately improving health," he added. "We've found a great partner in Acosta, a company that focuses on the health and wellness of its employees and is committed to offering its employees a wide variety of tools to improve their health."
The six-month pilot program, which kicked off in July and runs through January 2013, will give the Acosta employees access to Healthrageous' digital diabetes self-management program. The web- and smartphone-delivered program will include a personalized action plan with health behavior improvement goals, biometric feedback to demonstrate goal achievement and milestones, digital coach interaction, recognition and incentives for progress, supply and strip refill ordering, capturing HEDIS measures (which are used to track health care performance and effectiveness within the managed care industry), medication reminders and social networking support.
"Our technology can further refine population health management to personalize the intervention and maximize the opportunity to improve behavior and clinical outcomes, giving patients a unique experience and the right tools to help manage their Type 2 diabetes," said Rick Lee, Healthrageous president and CEO. "Our approach to motivating individuals to become and remain involved in self-managing their health is in line with the American Diabetes Association's recent guidelines to customize treatment options and involve patients more directly with their care. We are pleased to be working with Highmark to create new tools to help address this public health crisis."
Recently updated guidelines published by the American Diabetes Association in June suggest that health care providers customize treatment depending upon a patient's overall health, age and personal preferences. One of the first treatment strategies for newly diagnosed patients with Type 2 diabetes is to improve health habits, including diet and exercise, to lower blood sugar levels.