News & Updates

Highmark Health’s VITAL Innovation Program to evaluate Welldoc’s® BlueStar® mobile app for improving outcomes among type 2 diabetes patients

May 1, 2018

Alleghe­ny Health Net­work will spear­head the eval­u­a­tion to deter­mine clin­i­cal, finan­cial and patient expe­ri­ence out­comes relat­ed to BlueS­tar

PITTSBURGH, PA and COLUMBIA, MD – High­mark Health announced today that through its VITAL Inno­va­tion Pro­gram, a test-and-learn plat­form, it will be eval­u­at­ing Welldoc’s® BlueS­tar® mobile app, an FDA-cleared, proven dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tic for indi­vid­u­als with type 2 dia­betes.

The unique VITAL pro­gram, which lever­ages High­mark Health’s posi­tion as the nation’s sec­ond largest inte­grat­ed deliv­ery and financ­ing sys­tem, facil­i­tates real-world test­ing of med­ical inno­va­tions through Alleghe­ny Health Net­work (AHN), its physi­cians and its patients who enroll, pro­duc­ing evi­dence relat­ed to patient expe­ri­ence, and clin­i­cal and finan­cial out­comes. More than 150 patients will par­tic­i­pate in the eval­u­a­tion of BlueS­tar, which will yield fur­ther evi­dence that may accel­er­ate BlueStar’s cov­er­age and uti­liza­tion by High­mark Health and its affil­i­at­ed clin­i­cians and health plans, fast-track­ing BlueS­tar to patients.

Avail­able on smart­phones and via a web ver­sion, Welldoc’s BlueS­tar mobile app is a dig­i­tal health coach that unique­ly engages with peo­ple with type 2 dia­betes and deliv­ers per­son­al­ized, real-time feed­back, as well as per­son­al­ized dia­betes edu­ca­tion­al tools. It con­nects adults liv­ing with type 2 dia­betes, their health care team mem­bers, and pay­ers through enhanced com­mu­ni­ca­tion and sup­port. Clin­i­cal evi­dence shows a 1.7 to 2.0 mean A1C reduc­tion for adults liv­ing with type 2 dia­betes who use BlueS­tar.

Accord­ing to the CDC, near­ly 30 mil­lion Amer­i­cans are liv­ing with type 2 dia­betes,” said Sarah Ahmad, senior vice pres­i­dent of inno­va­tion and trans­for­ma­tion for High­mark Health. “Find­ing bet­ter ways to offer patients sup­port and guid­ance in the fight against chron­ic dis­ease is a pri­or­i­ty of the VITAL pro­gram. Welldoc’s BlueS­tar app is demon­strat­ing promise as a ther­a­py that can help con­trol dia­betes, mak­ing it well suit­ed for fur­ther test­ing through VITAL, which can help accel­er­ate the adop­tion of impor­tant new tech­nolo­gies, mak­ing them avail­able to patients soon­er.”

In 2017, the IQVIA Insti­tute for Human Data Sci­ence named BlueS­tar the top app in clin­i­cal dia­betes treat­ment. And in ear­ly 2018, Tru­ven Health Ana­lyt­ics®, part of the IBM Wat­son HealthTM busi­ness, demon­strat­ed that BlueS­tar could save on aver­age a range of $254 to $271 per user per month in health care costs.

At Alleghe­ny Health Net­work, our goal is to pro­vide patient-cen­tered care that more effec­tive­ly meets the com­pre­hen­sive needs of peo­ple with dia­betes,” said Patri­cia Bononi, MD, med­ical direc­tor, AHN Cen­ter for Dia­betes and Endocrine Health, and prin­ci­pal inves­ti­ga­tor for the BlueS­tar test. “Through the High­mark Health VITAL pro­gram, we are pleased to have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to test a modal­i­ty that stands to pro­vide our patients yet anoth­er lev­el of sup­port in the day-to-day man­age­ment of their dia­betes.”
“This eval­u­a­tion of BlueS­tar, in con­junc­tion with Alleghe­ny Health Net­work and High­mark Health’s VITAL pro­gram, stands to demon­strate the pow­er of a clin­i­cal­ly-proven dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tic to improve health out­comes and to low­er costs of treat­ment,” said Kevin McRaith, Well­doc pres­i­dent and CEO.

VITAL’s eval­u­a­tion of BlueS­tar will occur for a peri­od of six months, con­clud­ing in Decem­ber 2018.

More infor­ma­tion about High­mark Health
High­mark Health, a Pitts­burgh, PA based enter­prise that employs more than 40,000 peo­ple who serve mil­lions of Amer­i­cans across the coun­try, is the sec­ond largest inte­grat­ed health care deliv­ery and financ­ing net­work in the nation based on rev­enue. High­mark Health is the par­ent com­pa­ny of High­mark Inc., Alleghe­ny Health Net­work, and HM Health Solu­tions. High­mark Inc. and its sub­sidiaries and affil­i­ates pro­vide health insur­ance to near­ly 5 mil­lion mem­bers in Penn­syl­va­nia, West Vir­ginia and Delaware as well as den­tal insur­ance, vision care and relat­ed health prod­ucts through a nation­al net­work of diver­si­fied busi­ness­es that include Unit­ed Con­cor­dia Com­pa­nies, HM Insur­ance Group, and Vision­works. Alleghe­ny Health Net­work is the par­ent com­pa­ny of an inte­grat­ed deliv­ery net­work that includes eight hos­pi­tals, more than 2,800 affil­i­at­ed physi­cians, ambu­la­to­ry surgery cen­ters, an employed physi­cian orga­ni­za­tion, home and com­mu­ni­ty-based health ser­vices, a research insti­tute, a group pur­chas­ing orga­ni­za­tion, and health and well­ness pavil­ions in west­ern Penn­syl­va­nia. HM Health Solu­tions focus­es on meet­ing the infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy plat­form and oth­er busi­ness needs of the High­mark Health enter­prise as well as unaf­fil­i­at­ed health insur­ance plans by pro­vid­ing proven busi­ness process­es, expert knowl­edge and inte­grat­ed cloud-based plat­forms. To learn more, please vis­it For infor­ma­tion spe­cif­ic to VITAL, please vis­it

More infor­ma­tion about Alleghe­ny Health Net­work
Alleghe­ny Health Net­work (, a High­mark Health com­pa­ny, is an inte­grat­ed health­care deliv­ery sys­tem serv­ing the greater West­ern Penn­syl­va­nia region. The Net­work is com­posed of eight hos­pi­tals, includ­ing Alleghe­ny Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal, its flag­ship aca­d­e­m­ic med­ical cen­ter in Pitts­burgh, Alleghe­ny Val­ley Hos­pi­tal in Natrona Heights, Canons­burg Hos­pi­tal in Canons­burg, Forbes Hos­pi­tal in Mon­roeville, Jef­fer­son Hos­pi­tal in Jef­fer­son Hills, Saint Vin­cent Hos­pi­tal in Erie, West Penn Hos­pi­tal in Pitts­burgh and West­field Memo­r­i­al Hos­pi­tal in West­field, NY. The Net­work pro­vides patients with access to a com­plete spec­trum of advanced med­ical ser­vices, includ­ing nation­al­ly rec­og­nized pro­grams for pri­ma­ry and emer­gency care, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, can­cer care, ortho­pe­dic surgery, neu­rol­o­gy and neu­ro­surgery, women’s health, dia­betes and more. It also is home to a com­pre­hen­sive research insti­tute; Health + Well­ness Pavil­ions; an employed physi­cian orga­ni­za­tion, home and com­mu­ni­ty based health ser­vices and a group pur­chas­ing orga­ni­za­tion. The Net­work employs approx­i­mate­ly 19,000 peo­ple, has more than 2,400 physi­cians on its med­ical staff and serves as a clin­i­cal cam­pus for Drex­el Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege of Med­i­cine, Tem­ple Uni­ver­si­ty School of Med­i­cine, and the Lake Erie Col­lege of Osteo­path­ic Med­i­cine. To learn more, please vis­it

More infor­ma­tion about Well­doc®
Well­doc® is a lead­ing dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tic com­pa­ny rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing chron­ic dis­ease man­age­ment to help trans­form lives. Our ground­break­ing tech­nol­o­gy is guid­ing indi­vid­u­als through the com­pli­cat­ed jour­ney of liv­ing with chron­ic dis­eases, with a goal of help­ing indi­vid­u­als self-man­age their con­di­tions to achieve sig­nif­i­cant clin­i­cal out­comes and cost sav­ings. We began our jour­ney by mas­ter­ing dia­betes man­age­ment solu­tions and are mov­ing rapid­ly into cre­at­ing addi­tion­al tools for man­ag­ing oth­er chron­ic dis­eases includ­ing hyper­ten­sion, chron­ic obstruc­tive pul­monary dis­ease (COPD) and con­ges­tive heart fail­ure (CHF). We are the first dig­i­tal health com­pa­ny based on a life sci­ence busi­ness mod­el with a foun­da­tion that is built on ran­dom­ized clin­i­cal tri­als that demon­strate sig­nif­i­cant clin­i­cal out­comes. We have tak­en an aggres­sive and inno­v­a­tive approach that uti­lizes sophis­ti­cat­ed log­ic, pre­cise algo­rithms, and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI), which inte­grates the most advanced mobile tech­nol­o­gy and behav­ioral insights. Well­doc part­ners with, col­lab­o­rates with, and is backed by top health­care com­pa­nies (includ­ing Mer­ck and John­son and John­son), lead­ing inno­va­tors, ded­i­cat­ed investors, and top mobile tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies (such as Sam­sung). For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it
For infor­ma­tion spe­cif­ic to BlueS­tar®, please vis­it