Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to offer Livongo, Omada, Ovia Health in new digital health portfolio

A Boston-based state insurer is making a major shift into the digital health world with the launch of a new portfolio of digital tools.

Starting July 1, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will introduce its Emerging Solutions platform, which will initially focus on chronic disease prevention and management, fertility and pregnancy, and will be available to self-insured accounts with more than 1,000 employees.

The announcement comes as U.S. digital health funding reached record peaks in 2017 and added $1.62 billion in venture funding during the first quarter of 2018. 

"We've heard from many of our employer customers that they are looking for new ways to help their employees with specific challenges including diabetes, pre-diabetes, and maternity," Debbie Williams, senior vice president of sales and account service at BCBS of Massachusetts, said in a statement. "We have a unique opportunity to continuously see the newest technological advancements in health and select those that will best benefit our members."

The insurer's initial efforts are focused on diabetes management, a high-cost condition that other insurers have been focused on as well. Earlier this year, UnitedHealthcare launched a pilot aimed at Medicare Advantage beneficiaries with Type 2 diabetes that integrates wearable technology and individualized coaching. 

RELATED: UnitedHealthcare taps wearables, individualized coaching to enhance diabetes management

BCBS of Massachusetts will be offering Livongo, founded in 2012, which can assist with chronic disease and diabetes management

Also included is Omada, a digital provider of the Diabetes Prevention Program, that assists people with the disease. The therapeutics company partnered with Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City in 2017 to identify patients with prediabetes and provide them with tools to track their weight and diet. It recently partnered with researchers at the University of Nebraska and Wake Forest to study the impact of its digital diabetes program. 

"We thrive working with forward-thinking health plans," Omada CEO Sean Duffy said in a statement. "We can integrate into benefit design and demonstrate the value of our outcomes-based reimbursement."

Ovia Health, formerly known as Ovuline, is also available to help women track fertility and pregnancy. It is used by more than 8 million women and families.