Mission-Ready: Omada’s Work with U.S. Veterans

By: Cynthia Castro Sweet, Clinical Research Director, Omada Health

Omada’s mission is written on our office walls, visible every time one arrives at our office. That mission -- to inspire and enable people everywhere to live free of chronic disease -- drives every aspect of our business. For my team and me, it means that we are constantly designing, running, or contributing to clinical tests of our program’s effectiveness. To date, we’ve published 11 peer-reviewed studies, and launched the largest-ever randomized controlled trial of digital diabetes prevention. These studies help us to set a new standard of clinical evidence generation for digital health companies, and have been instrumental in contracting with health plans across the country. 

While every research study at Omada has been important, a couple have felt a bit special. A few weeks ago, after more than four years of work, the collaborators across the Veterans Health Administration published the results of a study in which Omada provided our digital Diabetes Prevention program to more than 200 U.S. veterans.

Diabetes prevalence among veterans is more than twice as high as the U.S. population as a whole -- recent studies estimate more than 1 in 5 veterans have the condition. As the U.S. healthcare systems continues to wrestle with rising rates of chronic disease as a primary driver of rising costs, the VA deals with the same issue, times two.

As a result, the U.S. Veterans Administration has been increasingly focused on helping those at risk for type 2 diabetes access resources to help them prevent the disease. The recently-published study compared the effectiveness of the Omada Program with an in-person Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) administered by the VA and the MOVE! Weight Management Program also operated by the VA.

The results were striking. Both the Omada Program and the in-person DPP demonstrated clinically-meaningful weight loss for participating veterans at both 6 and 12 months. On average, individuals completing at least one lesson in the Omada Program lost almost 11 pounds at the 6-month mark, and maintained a weight loss of about 10 pounds one year after starting the program. Based on the findings from the landmark DPP Trial, this weight loss corresponds to a significant long-term reduction in the risk of these veterans progressing to type 2 diabetes -- and the maintenance of weight loss in the VA study mirrors what we see in our published results from other studies. While rates of weight loss for the in-person DPP and Omada were comparable, both programs achieved significantly better results than MOVE!

Even more encouraging, nearly 90 percent of Omada participants in this study completed 8 or more lessons -- compared to around 60 percent of the in-person program. For veterans living in rural areas, or otherwise unable to attend an in-person DPP, the Omada Program can serve as an effective option and increase access.

Enabling people everywhere to live free of chronic disease necessitates that we address populations that need our help the most. Our work with the VA on this study demonstrates that the Veterans population can benefit significantly from the Omada program. We look forward to continuing our mission with the evidence generated from the study!