Study shows seniors at risk for diabetes and heart disease lose weight, reduce healthcare costs with Omada's program

By Heather Mack
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The digital behavioral health coaching program from Omada Health has been shown to reduce overweight and obese seniors' risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease by helping them lose weight and adopt healthier behaviors, according to a new study.

Over a three-year span, researchers looked at 1,121 adults age 65 or older who had a baseline body mass index of 24 or higher, plus additional risks for diabetes and heart disease, and were enrolled in the Omada digital coaching program. The program features an initial 16-week online educational program followed by ongoing coaching and notifications to sustain behavioral changes, a social network support group, a professional health coach to facilitate group and individual counseling; and digital tracking tools including a wireless scale and an activity tracker.

Six months after the program started, almost 90 percent of participants had completed at least nine of the 16 lessons in the program, and had lost an average of 6.8 percent of their body weight. This put estimations of cost savings at $1,770 per participant, with additional savings accumulating over the next decade.

“This study validates what our team has known for a while: that American seniors can – and will – reduce their risk of chronic disease by engaging with a properly designed digital health intervention,” Omada CEO and cofounder Sean Duffy said in a statement. “The evidence from this study shows that the Omada program delivers clinically-meaningful health outcomes and significant savings for those 65 and older.”

This is Omada’s fifth published peer-reviewed result that demonstrates the effectiveness of its program in helping participants maintain weight loss and reduced blood sugar levels. HHS announced last year that Medicare would cover the Diabetes Prevention Program, including digital versions like Omada’s. A few months ago, the company entered into a partnership with the American Medical Association when it took on a new customer, Intermountain Healthcare system.

Cynthia Castro Sweet, Omada’s Director of Medical Affairs and one of the study’s authors, said the study continues the company’s commitment to publishin their outcomes and “building an evidence base that passes clinical scrutiny."

“This work is the result of years of data collection, analysis, and modeling in collaboration with leading health economic experts,” Sweet said in a statement. “It allows us to walk into the office of medical directors, population health experts and policy makers, have a substantive discussion on our program’s success to date, and discuss the quantifiable return on investment for payers investing in prevention. As we continue to work with senior, rural or other underserved populations, studies like this one, coupled with the work of our data science team, will enable us to deliver personalized prevention in the context of population health.”