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Industry

Bringing digital diabetes management to rural communities

11/15/2018 by Paul Geevarghese

Bringing digital diabetes management to rural communities

Diabetes isn’t a “sometimes” disease. It needs to be managed through rain and shine; in the mornings and in the middle of the night. That’s why it can be particularly difficult to manage for people living with diabetes in rural areas. How do you ensure they have the necessary supplies when there are a couple of feet of snow outside their house? How do you maintain regular counsel and communication when the nearest doctor is a two-hour drive away?

Diabetes isn’t a “sometimes” disease. It needs to be managed through rain and shine; in the mornings and in the middle of the night. That’s why it can be particularly difficult to manage for people living with diabetes in rural areas.

How do you ensure they have the necessary supplies when there are a couple of feet of snow outside their house? How do you maintain regular counsel and communication when the nearest doctor is a two-hour drive away? 

There’s no quick fix for these complex logistical challenges. So at mySugr, we set out to build a comprehensive support package for health systems throughout the U.S., drawing on a variety of tools, technologies, and the irreplaceable power of human support. We call it our Integrated Diabetes Management Solution.

By using the data and insights we’ve gained developing our extremely successfully consumer app, we’re now helping health systems deliver world-class diabetes care to the people who need it most.

Patients Starter Kit: Connected BG Meter, Test Strips, Lancing Device, Lancets (Phone not included)
Patients Starter Kit: Connected BG Meter, Test Strips, Lancing Device, Lancets (Phone not included)

One solution

How does this play out in the real world? In early November, mySugr and Care Innovations launched a program with the Montana Primary Care Association (MPCA) to provide our Integrated Diabetes Management Solution to at-risk patients in rural and frontier Montana. The program consists of:

  • Patient Interface: mySugr’s comprehensive mobile app, used by more than 1.5 million people worldwide
  • Care Management: In-app Patient coaching, to further support the ongoing needs of patients
  • Supplies: Medical supplies, such as blood sugar test strips, which are delivered directly to the individual’s home to ensure they never run out
  • Device Integration: Automated and integrated devices, such as blood glucose monitors, which track important data for the user and their health care provider (including real-time estimates of HbA1C)
  • Population health management services through our partner Care Innovations, a leader in telehealth and chronic disease management

MPCA oversees a vast geographic area with, at times, extreme weather conditions. Many patients drive hours to see their doctor and even further to access hospitals, specialists and supplies. Through our comprehensive solution, we aim to bridge these gaps.

1 of 11 employees have diabetes
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Clinical outcomes

At the end of the day, what matters most is outcomes. Based on the behavioral changes and outcome data that we’ve seen with our direct-to-consumer digital diabetes solution, we’re optimistic that our population health initiatives can benefit people living with diabetes and their healthcare providers.

In one of our retrospective studies, we looked at high-risk type 1’s (eA1c > 8%) who consistently logged with the mySugr app over a 6-month period. They achieved a significant change in their eA1C by 1.3%. That’s a huge motivation factor that keeps people engaged. We have consistent good app-store ratings (currently 4.6 on apple and google play store) and a high customer satisfaction score that matches Netflix’s.

We anticipate these outcomes and engagement will translate to individuals in our MPCA program, who will receive access to the mySugr app, direct delivery of supplies, and many more personalized tools to ease the daily grind of diabetes. It’s a win-win-win for mySugr, health systems, and the individual living with diabetes.

Learn more about how we can help manage your population with diabetes and schedule a free consultation today. 

Paul Geevarghese

Paul Geevarghese has spent his career in the diabetes & obesity industry across pharmaceutical, medical device and digital health companies and is the Vice President of Market Access for mySugr.

Paul is passionate about finding ways to bring efficiency and accessibility to healthcare without losing the personalized approach that is fundamental to medicine.

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