Researchers at Stanford Medical School just completed a study on the efficacy of Canary Health’s online, digital diabetes program that allows people living with diabetes to self-manage their health through online workshops, coaching, and medication adherence and emotional support. Working from a population of over 1,000 and spanning six months, the study found positive outcomes across five key health indicators.
The study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, was initiated by Canary Health and looked at the company’s program Better Choices, Better Health. The researchers followed 1,242 participants over six months, looking at how participants interacted with the program’s six-week online workshop, where groups of approximately 25 people with chronic health conditions talked with peer coaches about a range of topics. The workshops teach individuals how to make informed treatment decisions, such as medication usage and diet, and also aims to equip them with better behavioral skills to cope with frustration or fatigue. Program participants can also learn how to have more effective conversations with their doctors and family.
Participants showed improvement across five key indicators – blood sugar levels, medication adherence and exercise all improved, hypoglycemic symptoms decreased in frequency, and depression symptoms improved.
“We clearly achieved our goal in showing that evidence-based diabetes self-management programs are equally effective for a larger, more diverse group of people who would typically enroll through their health plans,” Dr. Kate Lorig, director of the Stanford Patient Education Research Center and lead researcher of the study said in a statement. “Given the significant, positive outcomes of the study, we are grateful that Canary Health has the ability to offer Better Choices, Better Health, at scale, around the world.”
The study, done in partnership with Anthem BMS Foundation, Y-USA and OASIS Institute, comes just a few months after Canary Health’s announcement that Medtronic will be selling two of the company’s diabetes management programs. Many healthcare organizations, including Kaiser Permanente, already use Canary’ Health’s programs.
“This study confirms previous evidence that empowering individuals to self-manage their condition leads to improved health outcomes. It’s clear that Better Choices, Better Health, through its focus on individual goals and peer support enables people to own their health,” Dr. Neal Kaufman, chief medical officer of Canary Health said in a statement. “These results should be a clear call for broader clinical acceptance of digital health self-management as a crucial part of transforming healthcare to a value-based model.”