Health Information Exchange Featured Article

August 20, 2012

New Mobile App Aims to Monitor Diabetes



Alere has signed a deal with AT&T that will help market WellDoc’s DiabetesManager app to corporate payers and disease management companies. WellDoc and AT&T began co-marketing DiabetesManager in October 2010.

DiabetesManager, in short, is a mobile phone app that helps adults with Diabetes (type 2) to help them manage their condition on their own, while interacting with care givers and providers. The app hopes to help patients and doctors work together by capturing, storing and providing the necessary data in a secure environment. The DiabetesManager app also helps analyze the data captured to provide the patients with necessary educational and behavioral coaching.

Diabetes is a condition that stems from the body’s inability to produce insulin that helps convert the sugar to energy. If untreated, it can cause severe health issues such as blindness, heart and kidney problems, nerve problems and in some cases even premature death.

The number of people affected with this condition has exploded over the last 30 years and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in three U.S. adults could be affected with this condition by 2050. Majid Ezzati, professor of global environmental health at Imperial College London, has stated that diabetes is a condition that is not only disabling but also long-lasting, and it will soon be the biggest cost for many health systems.

 

WellDoc’s chief strategy and commercial officer, Chris Bergstrom said that the DiabetesManager app is the only smartphone software that has been cleared by U.S. regulators for the treatment of diabetes (Type 2) medication and education in adults.

The joint venture with AT&T will help over 300,000 diabetics that are served by Alere Inc. Chris previously served as an advisor to the chief executive officer of Alere, prior to joining WellDoc. Chris Bergstrom further added that the system provides real- time coaching to the diabetics, and with the Alere partnership it will also help send the data to the case managers, who if required can further advise the patients.

Joseph Rihel, of Pasadena, Maryland, who is a diabetic and who was put on trial with this app., a few years ago, stated that the objective was to control your diabetes and not vice-versa. He also added that the app considerably helped him control his diabetes.

The managing director of medical information for the American Diabetes Association, Matt Petersen said that there was a connection between control and reducing complications and any tool that helps people manage their condition is a good thing.

WellDoc’s Bergstrom further added that as the service is currently available only through healthcare and disease management companies, and that the employers would be paying for it and hence he was not in a position to reveal the cost of the app at the moment.



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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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