By Wei-Li Shao, Chief Commercial Officer
More than 100 million adults in the U.S. are now living with diabetes or prediabetes, a condition that if not treated, often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years. Unlike many other health conditions, diabetes is mostly managed by the patient. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, those with type 2 diabetes are not only navigating the added stress and anxiety that comes with a pandemic, but they are also managing their condition during a time when the traditional, in-person medical system feels out of reach or even scary.
For employers and benefits managers, the path to finding the right diabetes management solution can be tricky. Below are four tips for choosing a type 2 diabetes management plan for 2020 and beyond.
Tip #1: Pursue a Single-Source, Homegrown Solution
A personalized path is a better path. Just like a wellness device alone can’t accomplish all your health goals, neither can a digital nudge or automated message – especially when it comes to type 2 diabetes management. At Omada, we provide a holistic, single-source, homegrown solution that is tailored to every individual. While other vendors offer devices for all participants in a population, Omada only includes a glucometer if recommended per clinical guidelines for blood glucose monitoring. We do this because it’s the best clinical practice from our standpoint. Beyond this, we’re the only digital behavior change program that has published three-year data for our diabetes prevention program, and we’re excited to share that our Type 2 diabetes studies are currently underway. As the largest digital Center for Disease Control (CDC) recognized Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) provider in the United States, our clinically backed approach to lifestyle change sets us apart. Omada helps participants lose weight, keep it off, and build health strategies for life one step at a time.
Tip #2: Identify an Evidence-Based Program
Trust the evidence. While there are other digital companies with full CDC recognition status, Omada has enrolled more than 300,000 participants. It’s our experience with health plans, our initiatives with outcomes-based pricing, and our 14 peer-reviewed studies that allow us to achieve these participant numbers. Our published results for our prediabetes program demonstrate that participants on average lose 4-5% of their body weight and achieve normal A1c levels in one year. Participants achieve normal blood glucose levels on average and sustain these levels at three years. By offering this sustainable program grounded in evidence, Omada participants are able to gradually change thought patterns and behaviors that will make them healthy in an encouraging way.
Tip #3: Choose a Solution that Leverages the Human Touch
Personal connection is key. Studies show physicians need to incorporate interpersonal and relational skills with the patient for type 2 diabetes management. It can be easy to brush off an automated nudge or message – but not feedback from an actual person – and that feedback is much more effective. Omada takes a proactive approach while other digital health providers take a reactive approach. Instead of being on standby to respond only when things go astray, our coaches are there every step of the way. And each participant has one primary coach to interact with as opposed to multiple coaches. Omada coaches for our Type 2 Program are also trained as Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE), an important designation to look for. Together, each of these personalized touches in our coaching style creates a level of trust that allows our coaches to give everything from “tough love” to support and understanding.
Tip #4: Look for Models that Prioritize Participant Experience
Understanding that a happy patient often contributes to better outcomes, participant experience is a top priority at Omada. Our health coaches, platform, devices, and internal support teams all combine to create something special. From eligibility checks to program kick-offs, we believe that our participants are empowered to get the tools and support they need in a way that other digital diabetes management programs simply don’t provide. At kick-off, each of our participants receive a cellular-connected scale to help them seamlessly track progress. Beyond this, cellular-connected glucometers and blood pressure monitors are made available to any participants clinically recommended to self-monitor blood pressure and/or glucose levels. Participants who receive the Omada preferred glucometer also receive as many free test strips as needed. Our devices provide fast and accurate readings, instantly upload to online accounts, and enable personalized coach feedback – boosting the patient experience beyond a singular digital device or tool. It’s this curated, personalized experience that engages the participant from start to finish, and keeps them motivated, whereas other vendors offer platforms that are lack-luster and quickly leads to drop-offs. From weekly engaging lessons, to overcoming medication barriers, and remote blood glucose monitoring – Omada helps our participants create healthy patterns for life.
Managing type 2 diabetes is hard, but it can be made easier with the right program and the right solution. As we continue to build integrated partnerships with health plans and employers, customers can be sure their members are receiving a scalable, adaptable, and best-in-class diabetes management solution.
To see how our program works and how we’re delivering life-changing impact at scale click here.