Walgreens studies back digital tools
DEERFIELD, Ill. – Users of a pill reminder feature within the Walgreens mobile app demonstrate better medication adherence, a Walgreens study shows. People over the age of 50 who track their activities through the Walgreens Balance Rewards program are more adherent to their medications, as well, another company study shows. “These latest studies show how active participation and use of digital tools can benefit the user,” said Walgreens chief medical officer Dr. Harry Leider in a press release.
Glooko, Diasend merge to create global diabetes management platform
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., & GOTHENBURG, Sweden – Glooko and Diasend have merged under the Glooko name. When combined, their platform will download data from more than 160 different devices, including glucose meters, insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors and activity trackers—it total covering more than 95% of diabetes devices used around the world. “This is a big day for us—we are thrilled to be able to deliver products and services that will offer even more value to patients and healthcare providers around the world,” said Glooko CEO Rick Altinger in a press release. Anders Sonesson, CEO of Diasend AB, said, “From our standpoint, this means adding even more functionality to an already very strong technical platform.” The platform offers support for people with diabetes during and in-between doctor visits, as well as in-office diabetes data uploads and analytics. It also provides a smartphone-enabled self-management and population health tool that supports diabetes coaches worldwide. The two companies have raised $8M in equity financing.
Australians could save up to $3B with remote monitoring, study finds
CANBERRA, Australia – Home monitoring of chronic diseases could save Australia’s healthcare system up to $3 billion a year, a study has found. “In addition to a 24% savings of Medical Benefits Scheme expenditure over one year, the trial also showed a substantial 36% decrease in hospital admission and, most importantly, a 42% reduction in length of stay if admitted to hospital during the 12-month trial,” said Dr. Rajiv Jayasena, a lead researcher with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, in a statement. “This is a huge saving when you consider the cost of a hospital bed per day is estimated to be about $2,051 in Australia.” The study included a mixed group of 287 patients with chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes or chronic lung disease. They were provided with a device that included participant/clinician video conferencing capabilities, messaging features and the delivery of clinical and study-specific questionnaires, as well as a vital signs device to monitor their ECG, heart rate, spirometry, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, body weight and body temperature. Participants reported improvements in anxiety, depression and quality of life, with many finding that home monitoring gave them a better understanding of their chronic conditions.
Mobile app helps diabetes patients lose weight
LONDON – A mobile health app that uses the same principals as the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) helped pre-diabetic and diabetic patients lose weight, according to a study recently published in the British Medical Journal. “This pilot shows that a novel mobile NDPP intervention has the potential for scalability, and can address the major barriers facing the widespread translation of the NDPP into the community setting, such as a high fixed overhead, fixed locations and lower levels of engagement and weight loss,” the authors of the study concluded. The study involved employees at a Northeast-based insurance company that offered its workers free access to Noom Health, a mobile-based app that delivers program materials with human coaches. The student participants included 43 hyperglycemic males and females ages 18 to 75. They received NDPP content and were asked to log their weight, meals and physical activity in the app once a week. The participants spoke to their coach daily through in-app private and group messages, and by phone about twice a month. Researchers found that the app-based program produced comparable weight loss totals to the traditional diabetes prevention program.
Nima Labs launches gluten-detecting sensor, app
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Nima Labs has developed a sensor and companion app with which users can detect gluten in their food. The 3-inch tall, triangular sensor contains disposable capsules. Diners put a small sample of food into the capsule, and insert it into the device, which mixes the food into a solution that detects gluten down to 20 parts per million, which is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classification for gluten-free products. Every time someone runs a test, the result is automatically sent to a Nima app, where diners can enter information about where and what they ate, and whether the food contained gluten.