AHIP 2024: Verily unveils new chronic care platform called Lightpath

LAS VEGAS—Alphabet's Verily unit has unveiled a new chronic care management solution, and the team views the offering as the "next generation" of its precision health work.

Lightpath will first focus on cardiometabolic conditions, seeking to harness data and artificial intelligence to support patients with those needs in meeting their health goals. Lightpath Metabolic is built on top of the learnings from Onduo, the company's existing virtual care platform.

Myoung Cha, chief product officer at Verily, told Fierce Healthcare the platform represents a natural evolution for the Onduo team.

"It's taking a lot of years of experience providing clinical care with a full-stack care team, and applying that in really a new digital experience that represents an upgrade in terms of delivering on both patient engagement and empowerment," he said.

Verily expects to open enrollment for Lightpath in early 2026, according to the announcement. The program is designed to allow members to scale up and down in terms of intensity, tailoring the experience to their care needs. 

There are four levels within the Metabolic program:

  1. Metabolic Intensive: For patients with Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and/or comorbid obesity.
  2. Weight Loss Intensive: This is a clinically guided program for weight loss that can include anti-obesity medications like GLP-1s.
  3. Metabolic Improvement: A focus on diabetes prevention, hypertension and metabolic conditions that are well managed.
  4. Metabolic Achievement: This offers long-term monitoring and support for patients who have reached their health goals.

Cha said the program is able to analyze data on the members to determine when to adjust and pinpoint the level of intensity that is the best for them at different points on the care journey.

"I think a lot of the engagement that we're driving into the program gives us the signal to understand when to graduate folks from the intensive management phase into more maintenance," he said. "And you might be in maintenance, but we might also learn, again, through the data and the signals that the person's rebounding, there's a side effect, there's something going on that requires us to triage it back up into the more kind of higher intensity mode of the program."

The model pairs the technology and data analytics with health coaching and a clinical team that includes endocrinologists, pharmacists, primary care physicians, nurses and registered dietitians. Patients can connect with the team via telehealth, and they'll be able to review or optimize any medication-based treatment paths along the way.

Members will also be able to connect with an AI-based assistant that will support engagement, monitor behaviors and direct them to personalized pathways. The clinical team can tap into an AI assistant for support as well, Verily said.

Vindell Washington, M.D., chief clinical officer and head of Verily's Center of Excellence for Health Equity, said the team is also tackling Lightpath through an equity lens, as there have been multiple examples of poorly deployed AI that missed the populations who were intended targets.

It's critical to strike a balance between transformative technologies and human touch to make programs like Lightpath work, he said. Verily aims to use AI and its wealth of data to drill down to the "n of one" for a truly personalized experience.

"We as a company are uniquely positioned to put the right kind of data scientists in place to help it so that it's not just Myoung and I with a good idea and good intent, there's actually real structure around driving outcomes," Washington said.