News & Updates

Welldoc® Presents Results of an Innovative Economic Analysis Demonstrating Opportunity for Significant Healthcare Cost Savings with the Use of BlueStar®

June 26, 2018

– Findings Shared During Poster Presentation at the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) 78th Scientific Sessions –

Welldoc®, a leading digital health company revolutionizing chronic disease management to help transform lives through the use of its digital therapeutics, today announced results from an innovative economic analysis that demonstrated the potential for significant healthcare cost savings with the use of BlueStar®. BlueStar is powered by Welldoc and is a 510K-cleared digital therapeutic designed to coach adults with type 2 diabetes.

Truven Health Analytics®, part of the IBM Watson Health™ business, conducted the economic analysis for Welldoc using the MarketScan® Commercial Claims and Encounters Database and the MarketScan® Medicare Supplemental and Coordination of Benefits Database. The data were featured via a poster presented on Saturday at the ADA 78th Scientific Sessions, taking place through today at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

“Together with Truven Health Analytics, we took a novel approach to evaluating how our innovative digital health tool, BlueStar, has the potential to provide scalable, cost-effective solutions for patients, providers, and payers in evolving healthcare payment and practice models,” said Welldoc Medical Director Mansur Shomali, MD, CM. “In the Quadruple Aim framework, digital health tools should enhance the patient experience, reduce the burden on providers, improve the health of the population, and, as we have shown in this analysis, reduce health care costs.”

Data presented highlight how cost-savings estimates typically associated with a reduction in A1C were computed by pooling patients’ retrospective financial data and producing per person, per month (PPPM) assessments for patients.

The innovative economic analysis approach utilized a predictive model that included developing a complex custom algorithm. Truven Health researchers applied their algorithm to the MarketScan data, resulting in quantified total costs broken down by A1C levels in a way that was comparable between ages, stability and degree of glycemic stability/control. Welldoc researchers then applied these new Truven Health findings to previous research it conducted about BlueStar’s ability to lower and control A1C[1]. The data show that BlueStar would be able to save, a range of $254 to $271 per user per month. A commercially covered patient living with type 2 diabetes costs the healthcare system annually an average of $13,000 to $20,000, depending on his or her A1C measurement.[2]

Other topline conclusions in the poster included the following:

  • The market opportunity to reduce the total cost of diabetes in the U.S. is significant
  • Digital tools like BlueStar provide cost effective, scalable solutions for patients, providers, and payers in evolving healthcare payment and practice model
  • The highest cost savings could occur if patients with an A1C above 8% use BlueStar
  • Employing Bluestar among patients with A1Cs between 7 and 8% could help avoid longer-term cost increases for “rising risk” populations

Welldoc President and CEO Kevin McRaith said, “The healthcare industry is in need of solutions to help avoid, contain or save on costs associated with serving individuals living with type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. The data from this economic analysis extrapolates the clinical outcomes into real-world savings for employers, health plans and health systems.”

To supplement data shared via the poster, Welldoc commissioned Truven to publish a white paper entitled, “Estimating the Economic Impact of a Digital Therapeutic in Type 2 Diabetes: Correlating the A1C Reductions from Welldoc’s BlueStar with Cost Savings in US Payer Populations.” The white paper will be available soon for downloading and interested parties should submit their information at www.welldoc.com/outcomes/#truven to request a copy.

Also, on Sunday, June 24, Welldoc researchers presented a second poster during this week’s ADA conference that focused on digital health tool implementation models for healthcare ecosystems. It highlighted the need to eliminate burdens during the implementation process and the benefits of tailoring each implementation approach to meet the patient needs, as well as the care team’s objectives.

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 www.welldoc.com.

About the Economic Analysis Methodology

The MarketScan® Database captures administrative inpatient, outpatient, and prescription drug data for approximately 80 million individuals. Claims are gathered from approximately 150 large employers and health plans across the United States and provide detailed diagnostic, cost, and outcomes information from fully-adjudicated claims. Patients aged 40 and over with diabetes were captured from the databases, using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM), and Tenth Revision (ICD-10-CM) diagnosis codes. The patient population was narrowed to include only those people with diabetes with at least four A1C tests in a one-year period, from January 2014 to December 2015. Results of A1C tests were tabulated, and stratifications for A1C value range were established in the same A1C bands.  Patients were then stratified as stable versus unstable, and as enrolled in commercial insurance or Medicare. From these segments, total healthcare costs were summarized, and average costs per year by A1C range were analyzed.

[1] Quinn CC, et al. Diabetes TechnolTher.2008 ;10(3) :160-168. Quinn CC, et al. Diabetes Care. 2011: 34(9): 1934-1942.
Richard Katz, MD; George Washington University Medical Center; Journal of Health Communication, December 2011.
Quinn, CC, et al. Glycemic Control:  Impact on Physician Prescribing Behavior, Presentation ADA 72ndScientific Sessions, 2012.
Tang PY, et al. eHealth-Assisted Lay Health Coaching for Diabetes Self-Management Support American Diabetes Association
76th Scientific Sessions Poster Presentation 2016 Presented at AADE San Diego 2016.
[2] Based on MarketScan data and analysis for well-controlled patients with type 2 diabetes (A1C of 6-7) and not well-controlled patients with type 2 diabetes (A1C above 9)