Press Release

Vida Health’s virtual diabetes program achieves meaningful clinical outcomes in reducing HbA1c

New research in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Internet Research Diabetes shows significant reduction in blood sugar levels

San Francisco, June 3, 2021 — New research published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research Diabetes (JMIR Diabetes) shows clinically meaningful reductions in Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels for participants enrolled in Vida Health’s virtual diabetes management program. The study’s findings suggest that Vida’s program represents an accessible, scalable, and effective solution to type 2 diabetes management and improved HbA1c.

The study, Improved Glycemic Control With a Digital Health Intervention in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: Retrospective Study, examined the changes in blood sugar levels among participants with type 2 diabetes who enrolled in Vida’s virtual diabetes management program. It looked at multiple HbA1c results collected from hundreds of participants and sourced directly from national labs. The results show that after only four months participants saw a clinically significant reduction in HbA1c. Overall, participants saw a reduction of 0.8 points between baseline and follow-up while those participants considered high-risk — those with an HbA1c level of 8.0 or more — saw an average reduction of 1.4 points between baseline and follow-up. There was also a significant effect of program engagement on HbA1c change, participants who met more often with their provider saw a greater decrease compared to those with low engagement, a 1 point reduction vs. .65 point reduction respectively.

“A pharmaceutical that delivered a 1-point A1c reduction would be an automatic blockbuster,” said Michael Scahill, MD, FAAP, VP of Medical Affairs for Vida Health and senior author of the study. “Where pharmaceuticals often have undesired side effects, in this study we see such outcomes are possible in an intervention whose most common side effect is greater overall happiness.”

“Digital health provides an outstanding opportunity to reach people living with diabetes anywhere and anytime and can fill an important gap in care,” said Robert A. Gabbay, MD, PhD Chief Science & Medical Officer for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). “These results from Vida Health are further proof that human-led virtual care solutions can have meaningful and lasting impacts on the health of people with diabetes.”

Traditional lifestyle interventions have shown limited success in improving diabetes-related outcomes. The rising trajectory of adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes over several decades, total medical costs, and myriad barriers to receiving and implementing diabetes care highlights the need for new, more impactful, and effective solutions. The results of Vida’s study suggest that treating both the physical and mental effects of the disease simultaneously with evidence-based, continuous virtual care can provide a much needed and more effective solution to diabetes management and improved HbA1c.

“I got further in one year [with Vida] than I have in two decades of trying on my own,” said Jenny, an employee of one of Vida’s Fortune 500 clients who has lost more than 80 pounds, reduced her A1c from 7.2 to 5.9, and has been taken off Metformin and her high blood pressure medication since joining the program. “With understanding who I am, what I have gone through and what I wanted to accomplish, my coach got me on the path of sustaining a healthy lifestyle. She gave me my life back.”

“There are countless barriers that keep people from participating in traditional diabetes management programs — cost, need for referrals, scheduling and transportation challenges — just to name a few,” said Gretchen Zimmermann, RD, CDCES, Director of Clinical Dietetics at Vida Health and lead author of the paper. “So many of those challenges are instantly removed with a personalized digital diabetes management program like Vida’s. These results speak for themselves, Vida’s highly-personalized, virtual-first solution can truly change lives by driving clinically and statistically meaningful improvements for those living with type 2 diabetes.”

Core to Vida’s philosophy is the idea that every chronic condition must not only be treated physically, but also mentally. Vida’s diabetes management program is delivered by coaches, diabetes experts and licensed providers, including registered dietitians who individualize care using a patient-centered approach and targeted interventions to improve glycemic control, such as medical nutrition therapy or pharmacy referrals. In Vida’s population health approach, mental health is addressed utilizing evidence-based modalities and multiple points of service including mental health coaching and psychotherapy. Treating both physical health and mental health in a synergistic way leads to better outcomes for Vida’s members.

These meaningful diabetes outcomes are the latest positive results from Vida published in peer reviewed publications. Vida recently published a retrospective study looking at the changes in stress following Vida’s 10-week digital mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Vida also published multiple peer-reviewed studies in 2020, including a PLOS One paper looking at Vida’s weight management program and a JMIR paper underscoring the efficacy of Vida’s virtual therapy program. Outcomes have also been published in American Heart Journal, JMIR Mhealth Uhealth, and The Psychological Record.

Vida has full-stack solutions in both English and Spanish and serves members in all 50 states. Vida’s clients include employers like Boeing, Visa, Cisco, and eBay, along with some of the country’s largest health plans like Centene, Humana, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans.

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