Chronic disease management company Livongo shows that their diabetes management program was able to drive participants to feel more empowered and less overwhelmed with the cognitive load of managing their disease.
Research findings were presented at the annual American Diabetes Association meeting in San Francisco.
The one-year study found that the company’s diabetes management program, which includes a connected blood glucose monitor, health coaching and personalized educational messaging termed “behavioral nudges” were able to improve patient measurements on the Diabetes Empowerment Scale-Short Form and the Diabetes Distress Scale 2, which track the psychosocial effects of living with diabetes.
The DES-SF is a survey based assessment meant to measure diabetes-related psychosocial self-efficacy including managing the psychosocial aspects of diabetes and the ability to set and achieve disease-related goals.
On the other hand, the DDS2 is a research instrument that can assess how overwhelmed a person living with diabetes feels about their disease and falling behind on their management routine.
Among the 957 study participants, 61 percent saw improvements on both measures and 94 percent had improvements in at least one measurement instrument.
“People with diabetes often live in shame, live in guilt and live alone with the disease with limited medical and social support,” Livongo Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bimil Shah said.
“There’s been a lot of literature over the past two decades about how this can lead to distress and isolation in a way that’s associated poor or worse A1c control.”
Livongo offers up the surveys at regular intervals as a patient moves through their diabetes management program in order to chart the impact of the company’s platform on patients’ psychosocial state. The study looked at the surveys answered by patients at enrollment and at the 12-month mark.
Patients who also had another chronic disease, were using insulin daily to manage their Type 2 Diabetes or had lived with diabetes for more than two years were more likely to have a positive effect on their empowerment measurements.
Shah said the research can provide guidance on new features developed by the company that are meant to engage patients to manage their diabetes.
“It helps to cohort people into buckets where we have great opportunities to drive further engagement,” Shah said. “It helps us to focus the product, rather than messaging everyone the same thing in a shotgun-style approach.”
Livongo’s research was done in collaboration with Eli Lilly, one of the leading manufacturers of insulin products. In May, the two companies released the results of a health economics study that found that Livongo’s diabetes management program could drive an $88 per member per month reduction in medical spending compared to non-Livongo patients.
Shah said Livongo was not working with Eli Lilly on new drug development programs and said the collaboration is a purely research partnership that helps leverage the drugmaker’s experience in real-world evidence generation in the diabetes space.
Livongo is a leader in the crowded chronic disease management space which includes competitors like Omada Health, Vida Health and Virta Health, but reports of a likely IPO later this year have raised the company’s profile.
The company has raised around $240 million in funding and has more than 650 enterprise customers, mainly self-funded employers. A big focus for the company over the next year is growing its business with health plans like Cambia Health Solution, with other Blue plans as likely early partners.
Shah also said the Livongo will continue to roll out new services dedicated to different disease states with greater penetration into the cardiac space as well as high spend areas like upper respiratory disease and musculoskeletal conditions as potential candidates.
He also highlighted the idea of increasing integration with socio-demographic data sources into Livongo’s disease management programs to provide more targeted resources that could improve patient health.
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