Blue Cross Blue Shield Association partners with Google affiliate for diabetes care pilot

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is launching a new diabetes care pilot in three states.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has partnered with a new, Google-affiliated diabetes company to offer more personalized diabetes care to members of its affiliated health plans. 

In addition to the BCBSA and Onduo—a diabetes management company formed by Verily, the life sciences branch of Google's parent company Alphabet—the program will also involve the pharmaceutical company Sanofi, according to an announcement. The pilot will begin in Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina in the first quarter of 2018. 

Onduo will match eligible Blue Cross members to appropriate diabetes interventions, like wireless glucose monitors, wellness programs and a team of healthcare experts employed by the company. The company's platform will also aid members by providing guidance and continuous support between doctor visits.

In addition, the BCBSA will be able to use the platform to gather data on Type 2 diabetes outcomes, costs and member experiences, according to the announcement. 

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have a long history of bringing locally tailored, innovative programs to the communities we serve,” Jody Voss, vice president of development, innovation and the group purchasing organization for the BCBSA, said in the announcement. 

RELATED: Blue Cross Blue Shield partners with Lyft to improve patients' access to care 

The BCBSA and Onduo are not the only organizations to see diabetes as a health issue in which technology to make a difference in care management and prevention. Studies have found that health tech can lead to significant weight loss among people with prediabetes and identify patients who are most likely to have major complications related to the condition. 

One new startup, for example, set the goal of reversing Type 2 diabetes among 100 million people in the next decade.

Blues insurers, meanwhile, have also leveraged data to combat another public health concern: the opioid crisis. The wealth of data available from BCBS plan members is a valuable tool, but the key is knowing how and when to best apply it, health plan leaders have said.