HCSC employees' pilot finds early enthusiasm for WellDoc DiabetesManager

By Neil Versel
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WellDoc DiabetesManagerWellDoc continues its hot streak. Fresh off deals with Alere and two unspecified health insurance companies – not to mention a new round of funding – WellDoc corporate partner AT&T reports strongly positive early results from a test of the Baltimore-based company's DiabetesManager system.

In a pilot involving 156 employees of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), operator of Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, with Type 2 diabetes, 88 percent called DiabetesManager "highly useful" for self-management of their condition. Based on an online survey, more than 90 percent of participants said they would recommend the system, and about three-quarters planned on continuing to use what AT&T has branded AT&T mHealth Solutions Presents DiabetesManager.

"We’re very pleased with engagement rates we’re seeing from HCSC employees using DiabetesManager," AT&T Chief Medical Officer Dr. Geeta Nayyar writes on a company blog.

AT&T has not reported any medical outcomes data from the pilot, though a 2010-11 demonstration of DiabetesManager showed a 58 percent drop in ER visits and hospitalizations among a Medicaid population in Washington, D.C., after patients started using the system. Another trial, results of which appeared in the September 2011 issue of the journal Diabetes Care, found that patients using the WellDoc system in addition to regular medical care were able to lower hemoglobin A1C levels by 1.2 percentage points more than those who only had traditional care.

DiabetesManager provides real-time feedback, coaching and clinical decision support to diabetic patients via mobile phone, based on blood-glucose readings and food choices.