Virtual Care Delivery Critical for Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes

86 million adults have prediabetes and over 9 percent of the U.S. population — 29 million people — currently have type 2 diabetes. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that if patients with prediabetes do not adopt healthy lifestyle changes, such as a healthier diet, physical activity, and usually weight loss, that at least 15 to 30 percent of those individuals with prediabetes will develop full-blown diabetes within just five years.

The good news? This does NOT have to be the case.

Prediabetes is entirely preventable, treatable, and reversible if patients are given the proper tools for success. As such, the CDC developed the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a multicenter clinical research study aimed to determine if moderate lifestyle changes or medication [with an oral diabetes drug, metformin] would impede the onset of type 2 diabetes in patients with prediabetes. The successful trial study discovered that structured lifestyle interventions were more effective in reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes than the medication-intervention, although both interventions did reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes in this at-risk population.  

This lifestyle intervention program is essential to thwart the escalating rates of diabetes in America. But how do you reach the millions of Americans with prediabetes who cannot access an established medical center? In 2015, the CDC endorsed digital programs that meet evidence-based regulations of the DPP in order to close this care gap. Virtual nutrition care through the Healthie platform allows the DPP to reach a broader audience, increase engagement, reduce cancelled appointments, and trim healthcare costs. And that’s exactly what our healthcare system needs.

At-risk populations are not always able to receive the nutrition care they need, but through an increase in virtual nutrition providers and services, such as Healthie and the DPP, this gap in care is starting to close! Valuable virtual lifestyle change programs can provide an equal standard of care as in-person lifestyle coaching. Furthermore, virtual nutrition services increase accountability of DPP patients throughout the program to help improve outcomes and long-term implementation of key lifestyle changes. Healthie allows more frequent communication between patients and providers via secure text messaging, telehealth video conferencing, social connections and more. Telehealth allows clinicians and researchers to follow patients throughout the course of the DPP program, and beyond, to ensure that healthy lifestyle changes are maintained.

Even more, DPP providers can keep track of these improved outcomes in the Healthie platform. Healthie providers are able to use outcome reports and track metrics through Healthie to streamline their services to enhance the level of care provided and focus on those areas that need improvements. For example, a provider can track a patient’s weight, waist circumference, physical activity and more, in addition to provider-customized metrics. When providers have the data to support their services, not only do patients fare better, but practitioners improve their performance as well!

The need for outstanding nutrition virtual care for at-risk populations is exactly why Healthie was created, so we are proud to support the efforts of patients with prediabetes in America through partnerships with healthcare systems, clinics, corporate wellness programs, and coaching programs that are increasingly embracing online programs that execute the CDC’s mission of curbing the impact of preventable chronic diseases.

If you’d like to learn more about how to become a DPP provider with healthie please email us: hello@gethealthie.com.

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