According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 26 million adults and children in the United States -- or 8.3 percent of the population -- have diabetes. Imagine if this sizeable group was able to more easily manage their diabetes while at work, at home, or on-the-go by using an easy-to-use self-management tool on their mobile device. What if they were able to receive real-time clinically based feedback and virtual coaching on effective lifestyle and medication adjustments? And what if the information they entered into their compatible device could be sent to healthcare professionals without having to visit a doctor’s office?
That reality is here today thanks to AT&T’s* launch of mHealth pilots underway with employees at:
- AT&T – one of the nation’s largest corporate payers of healthcare coverage, which covers more than 1.2 million employees and retirees and their dependents.
- Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) – the largest customer-owned health insurer in the U.S. and fourth largest overall, which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
The AT&T mHealth Solutions presents DiabetesManager® is an initiative between AT&T and WellDoc®, the maker of DiabetesManager®, one of the first mHealth solutions to receive clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration for adults with Type 2 diabetes.
For up to six months, a select group of employees at each company will use the new solution to capture and analyze diabetes information such as blood sugar levels and carbohydrate intake and will receive real-time messages on what to do differently if levels are too high or too low. AT&T welcomes customers interested in negotiating agreements for use of the mHealth service on a commercial basis.
The solution helps health plans, disease management organizations and corporate payers effectively provide diabetes patients with tools to help them manage their disease and reduce costs. The end-to-end mHealth enterprise solution combines the DiabetesManager application and feedback engine with AT&T’s highly secure hosting environment, support and customer care specifically designed to enable AT&T and its customers to comply with all applicable HIPAA requirements.
- A patient can enter their blood glucose readings, medication information, and other lifestyle information into DiabetesManager, which through the use of a clinical analytics engine provides automated, real-time feedback on the patient’s specific data. This way, the patient can take immediate action to help manage their disease.
- This valuable patient information is also made available to nurses, case workers and doctors who can review the information through an enterprise portal and provide additional communication to the patient, if needed, about what action he or she needs to take.
- AT&T has launched an enterprise-ready mHealth solution in a highly secure hosted environment to help keep patient information secure. The solution’s infrastructure was subject to rigorous third party testing to ensure that it meets the requirements of HIPAA’s Security Rule.
- AT&T and HCSC plan to evaluate how the mHealth solution can change and improve patient behavior and the way in which caregivers interact with patients. The solution enables caregivers to virtually monitor all of their patients, but allows them to focus on patients who need help the most, while still supporting other, less critical cases.
“‘We tell our people, ‘Now, you can take your healthcare with you.’” said Denise Harper-Saxon, case management nurse at HCSC. “This solution is helping us engage and interact with folks in ways we couldn’t before.”
“We know AT&T can scale this solution to millions of people through its network and solutions, which is why we chose to work with them,” said Kristin Conley, vice president and Enterprise Process Leader, HCSC.
“Diabetes is one of the most common disease conditions, and the AT&T population is no exception,” said Marty Webb, vice president, Benefits, Human Resources, AT&T Services Inc. “We’re excited to pilot this new mHealth solution to help our employees effectively manage their health and their diabetes.”
AT&T generated approximately $4.9 billion in revenue from healthcare industry businesses such as hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, suppliers and physicians in 2010.
Learn more about AT&T ForHealth.