Study Pairs Telcare’s Cellular Enabled Blood Glucose Meter with Analytics and Patient Support Services for Employees with Diabetes
According to a peer-reviewed publication in this month’s issue of US Endocrinology, the use of a mobile healthcare solution for monitoring diabetes resulted in a $3,300 per person annual reduction in employee healthcare costs. The overall savings to the employer represent more than five times the cost of the monitoring program, an unprecedented return on investment in the employee health and disease management industry.
The study, “Deployment of an mHealth Patient Monitoring Solution for Diabetes — Improved Glucose Monitoring Leads to Reduction in Medical Expenditure,” was led by Professor Jonathan C. Javitt, MD, MPH, a physician, health technologist and health economist, in conjunction with Professor Shane Reese of the University of Utah, PhD and his research assistant, Michael Derrick. Dr. Javitt is the founder and C.E.O. of Telcare, Inc., a technology company that conducted the intervention in partnership with ActiveCare, Inc. of Provo, U.T. Dr. Javitt previously served as a White House healthcare advisor in both the Clinton and Bush Healthcare administrations and is one of the early pioneers in the use of wireless medical devices.
The average employee with diabetes costs an employer $6,000 more in health insurance costs than an employee without diabetes. The savings demonstrated in this study are attributed to reduced hospitalization and emergency care among employees with diabetes who participated in the monitoring program, as compared to similar employees with diabetes who did not participate.
“These results suggest that it is possible to use technology to provide better care for more people at lower costs, while also reducing the impact of chronic illness on patients and their families” said Dr. Javitt. “We spend 70% of our healthcare dollars on the care of chronic diseases; technology is the best way to alleviate the burden of complications associated with those chronic illnesses. We are extremely encouraged by the demonstrated potential of mHealth solutions for diabetes to improve adherence to care, reduce the need for hospital and emergency care, and improve daily life for Americans with diabetes.”
The Telcare Diabetes Management System incorporates the first FDA-cleared glucose meter that uses embedded cellular transmission capability, so that results are transmitted automatically to the disease management server in a HIPAA-compliant manner, enabling the patient to receive immediate feedback and guidance. Unlike smartphone-based solutions, the patient does not have to complete any additional steps or pay for a cellphone contract. The Telcare meter was launched a year ago and is priced comparably to traditional glucose meters and test strips.
In this study, Telcare’s hardware technology was paired with ActiveCare’s proprietary data analytics, real-time biometrics analysis and 24/7 monitoring and care services. The combined solution provides unique visibility to the status of every patient. The technology is complemented by compassionate, medically astute diabetes coaches, who can target those patients who need engagement and encouragement from someone to whom they can relate.
Al Lewis, a member of the ActiveCare advisory board and the author of Why Nobody Believes the Numbers, added, “This is terrific — a 21st century intervention for the same price as the old-fashioned technology it replaces, creating a can’t-lose ROI. The mHealth strategy deployed here is likely to be the future model for managing chronic illness.”