Diabetes management gets personal

Type 2 diabetes management is getting a little more personal for employees at Acosta Sales and Marketing who have the condition. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based self-insured employer is embarking on a six-month mobile diabetes self-management pilot program that uses individual action plans.

The company has partnered with health and wellness company Highmark and digital health management company Healthrageous and will give employees access to the latter's digital diabetes self-management program.

While recent surveys have found healthcare organizations lack a coherent vision for mobile health initiatives, the eHealth Initiative last week said mobile health shows tremendous promise in Type 2 diabetes management efforts.

There's certainly no shortage of app options that could make good on that promise. With more than 40,000 mobile health applications available, market research firm research2guidance found that diabetes patients are main targets for mHealth app developers in the next five years.

For the Acosta pilot, individual plans will be accessible online and via smartphones and will feature:

  • Health behavior improvement goals
  • Biometric feedback to demonstrate goal achievement and milestones
  • Digital coach interaction
  • Recognition and incentives for progress
  • Supply and strip refill ordering
  • Medication reminders
  • Social networking support

To evaluate the program's impact on lifestyle change and medication adherence, the pilot will use digital coaching and a wireless glucose meter, according to an announcement. "Our long-term expectation is that … we will facilitate positive behavior and lifestyle changes, ultimately improving health," Paul Puopolo, vice president of business innovation and development at Highmark, said.

To learn more:
- read the announcement