PITTSBURGH and COLUMBIA, Md. (May 1, 2018) — Highmark Health announced today that through its VITAL Innovation Program, a test-and-learn platform, it will be evaluating WellDoc's® BlueStar® mobile app, an FDA-cleared, proven digital therapeutic for individuals with type 2 diabetes.
The unique VITAL program, which leverages Highmark Health's position as the nation's second largest integrated delivery and financing system, facilitates real-world testing of medical innovations through Allegheny Health Network (AHN), its physicians and its patients who enroll, producing evidence related to patient experience, and clinical and financial outcomes. More than 150 patients will participate in the evaluation of BlueStar, which will yield further evidence that may accelerate BlueStar's coverage and utilization by Highmark Health and its affiliated clinicians and health plans, fast-tracking BlueStar to patients.
Available on smartphones and via a web version, WellDoc's BlueStar mobile app is a digital health coach that uniquely engages with people with type 2 diabetes and delivers personalized, real-time feedback, as well as personalized diabetes educational tools. It connects adults living with type 2 diabetes, their health care team members, and payers through enhanced communication and support. Clinical evidence shows a 1.7 to 2.0 mean A1C reduction for adults living with type 2 diabetes who use BlueStar.
"According to the CDC, nearly 30 million Americans are living with type 2 diabetes," said Sarah Ahmad, senior vice president of innovation and transformation for Highmark Health. "Finding better ways to offer patients support and guidance in the fight against chronic disease is a priority of the VITAL program. WellDoc's BlueStar app is demonstrating promise as a therapy that can help control diabetes, making it well suited for further testing through VITAL, which can help accelerate the adoption of important new technologies, making them available to patients sooner."
In 2017, the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science named BlueStar the top app in clinical diabetes treatment. And in early 2018, Truven Health Analytics®, part of the IBM Watson HealthTM business, demonstrated that BlueStar could save on average a range of $254 to $271 per user per month in health care costs.
"At Allegheny Health Network, our goal is to provide patient-centered care that more effectively meets the comprehensive needs of people with diabetes," said Patricia Bononi, MD, medical director, AHN Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Health, and principal investigator for the BlueStar test. "Through the Highmark Health VITAL program, we are pleased to have the opportunity to test a modality that stands to provide our patients yet another level of support in the day-to-day management of their diabetes."
"This evaluation of BlueStar, in conjunction with Allegheny Health Network and Highmark Health's VITAL program, stands to demonstrate the power of a clinically-proven digital therapeutic to improve health outcomes and to lower costs of treatment," said Kevin McRaith, WellDoc president and CEO.
VITAL's evaluation of BlueStar will occur for a period of six months, concluding in December 2018.
Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, PA based enterprise that employs more than 40,000 people who serve millions of Americans across the country, is the second largest integrated health care delivery and financing network in the nation based on revenue. Highmark Health is the parent company of Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, and HM Health Solutions. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates provide health insurance to nearly 5 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware as well as dental insurance, vision care and related health products through a national network of diversified businesses that include United Concordia Companies, HM Insurance Group, and Visionworks. Allegheny Health Network is the parent company of an integrated delivery network that includes eight hospitals, more than 2,800 affiliated physicians, ambulatory surgery centers, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, a group purchasing organization, and health and wellness pavilions in western Pennsylvania. HM Health Solutions focuses on meeting the information technology platform and other business needs of the Highmark Health enterprise as well as unaffiliated health insurance plans by providing proven business processes, expert knowledge and integrated cloud-based platforms. To learn more, please visit www.highmarkhealth.org. For information specific to VITAL, please visit www.vitalinnovation.com.
Allegheny Health Network (AHN.org), a Highmark Health company, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater western Pennsylvania region. The Network is composed of eight hospitals, including Allegheny General Hospital, its flagship academic medical center in Pittsburgh, Allegheny Valley Hospital in Natrona Heights, Canonsburg Hospital in Canonsburg, Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Hills, Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh and Westfield Memorial Hospital in Westfield, NY. The Network provides patients with access to a complete spectrum of advanced medical services, including nationally recognized programs for primary and emergency care, cardiovascular disease, cancer care, orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, women's health, diabetes and more. It also is home to a comprehensive research institute; Health + Wellness Pavilions; an employed physician organization, home and community based health services and a group purchasing organization. The Network employs approximately 19,000 people, has more than 2,400 physicians on its medical staff and serves as a clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. To learn more, please visit www.ahn.org.
WellDoc® is a leading digital therapeutic company revolutionizing chronic disease management to help transform lives. Our groundbreaking technology is guiding individuals through the complicated journey of living with chronic diseases, with a goal of helping individuals self-manage their conditions to achieve significant clinical outcomes and cost savings. We began our journey by mastering diabetes management solutions and are moving rapidly into creating additional tools for managing other chronic diseases including hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF). We are the first digital health company based on a life science business model with a foundation that is built on randomized clinical trials that demonstrate significant clinical outcomes. We have taken an aggressive and innovative approach that utilizes sophisticated logic, precise algorithms, and artificial intelligence (AI), which integrates the most advanced mobile technology and behavioral insights. WellDoc partners with, collaborates with, and is backed by top healthcare companies (including Merck and Johnson and Johnson), leading innovators, dedicated investors, and top mobile technology companies (such as Samsung). For more information, visit www.welldoc.com. For information specific to BlueStar®, please visit www2.bluestardiabetes.com.