With new Solera app, even in-person DPPs are going digital

By Heather Mack
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Phoenix, Arizona-based Solera Health, which offers a platform that acts as an integrator for chronic disease management programs and services, announced the launch of new app to augment in-person delivery of diabetes prevention programs.

Called SoleraONE, the app is designed for people who are participating in a community-based, in-person DPP. With the app, in-person DPP providers in the Solera network – which includes community based organizations, health systems, diabetes education programs and others – can offer their participants the best of both worlds. Participants of in-person DPP programs can use the app for times when they can’t physically attend their sessions, and they can also seek additional support to complement their in-person program with access to digital coaching and group interactions, nutrition help and activity tracking.

The idea is to open up all available resources for those in DPPs without requiring them to choose between digital or brick-and-mortar.  In-person DPPs are engaging to participants because they offer a personal connection, accountability and hands-on approach to daily lifestyle improvements like healthy eating and exercise, whereas digital DPPs offer convenience, regular coach access and an easy way to track progress and goals. 

Brenda Schmidt, CEO of Solera Health, said while people who come to the platform tend to chose equally between community and digital DPP providers and report similar outcomes, community providers don’t enjoy the same tools and resources that can drive efficiency. With the SoleraONE app, she said, community programs can enhance access to the CDC Prevent T2 DPP curriculum.

“Now, they can provide more support before or after class, they can use the app to give participants automated feedback which can improve efficiency and cost effectiveness,” Schmidt told MobiHealthNews in an interview. “Typically now, if someone selects a community organization and goes once per week and has pen and paper nutrition logs, that can take a lot of time and create gaps in engagement. The app can address that.”

Solera offers a mix of in-person and digital DPPs on its platform, but it’s an either/or choice for participants. That being said, Schmidt emphasized that the SoleraONE app is not meant to take the place of any of them.

“We are not a competitor,” Schmidt said. “It’s a service to complement existing programs, and the need for additional access and resources in between in-person sessions was one of the things we had identified as a barrier to overcome to improve the total experience of the participant.”

The SoleraONE app and coaching portal will be powered by HealthSlate, a digital DPP and Solera partner. HealthSlate will also continue to offer its primary digital DPP on the platform.

“We had tremendous excitement on two fronts when we announced the SoleraONE app,” HealthSlate CEO Dan Sheeran told MobiHealthNews in an interview. “First, being able to make the programs more accessible to people who are not able to make a class and are left out, and also tremendous excitement from the consumer – they are not forced to choose one or the other. They can attend a session and have that personal interaction, but then they can log their information via the app instead of paper and not feel like they are stuck in the past. You have the benefits of digital and the in-person program.”

Schmidt added that they see the future of DPPs becoming increasingly mixed between in-person and digital, with the opportunity to use both without the requirement of choosing.

“Longer term, we see the market as much more hybrid,” Schmidt said.