CDC Logs On to Digital Therapeutics

Five years ago, the CDC described chronic disease as “the public health challenge of the 21st century.

Today, the agency took a bold step towards using 21st century tools to battle one of America’s most pervasive chronic diseases, type 2 diabetes.

One in three American adults has pre-diabetes, and the CDC estimates that one in three U.S. adults will have developed type 2 diabetes by 2050. These numbers have frightening implications for America’s health, and for America’s employers and health plans. Between direct medical costs and lost productivity, type 2 diabetes cost the U.S. $245 billion in 2012 – a number that grew 41 percent in the five years since 2007.

The good news is that prediabetes is directly related to lifestyle and behavior, which means these trends can be reversed. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) has demonstrated a remarkable 58 percent reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes among prediabetic participants – tied to just a 7 percent drop in body weight. But the challenge has been delivering this behavioral intervention efficiently and effectively to millions of people.

Now for the first time, the CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program (DPRP) standards will allow online, remotely-delivered lifestyle interventions – like Omada Health’s flagship digital therapeutic, Prevent – to receive CDC recognition.

Until now, the DPRP standards have not allowed for remote delivery, meaning that people had to rely on face-to-face programs that, while proven to be effective, may not be as convenient or available to all those who need them. These new standards are so important because they allow life-saving treatments to be brought to thousands – and even millions – of more people through the Internet. Moreover, these on-line programs work: our data – published in peer-reviewed journals – demonstrate that Prevent can be as effective, or even more so, than traditional face-to-face versions of the DPP.

Prevent participants have access to the curriculum on their computer, tablet, or smartphone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can communicate with a personal health coach and a small network of fellow participants on their own schedule, when they need the support the most. The platform doesn’t just replicate the original DPP; it enhances it with best-in-class design, around-the-clock accessibility, seamless social networking, a mobile app, and smart devices including a wireless scale that is synched directly to participants’ accounts.

The recognition of remotely-delivered DPP and digital therapeutics by the CDC is an enormous step forward for preventive medicine, for digital health, and for the millions of Americans who need to lower their risk for type 2 diabetes.

Omada Health will apply for CDC recognition when the application window opensFebruary 2nd. Given the success of our published results and our operational alignment with the new standards, we hope to receive quick notice of recognition for Prevent.

If we are fortunate enough to receive that recognition, we’re confident this step will help Omada reach a wider audience of HR executives and medical directors searching for successful diabetes prevention programs for their beneficiaries.

This is an incredible opportunity for Omada, and we are both grateful for, and excited by, the prospect of helping an ever-growing number of Americans improve their health.