Omada Health trumpets promising results from study of digital health program in Medicare patients

Omada Health CEO Sean Duffy

Omada Health has revealed promising results from a study that looked at how well its digital health tools could help spur weight loss among Medicare members, a milestone for the company a couple of months after it roped in new funding to develop its health management program.

The study, which Omada conducted with Humana ($HUM), showed that 491 people lost an average of 8.7% of their body weight over 6 months while participating in the company's Prevent program. Prevent offers digital tools to help people reduce their risk for obesity-related chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, including a wireless scale presynced to a patient's account, 24/7 access to a personal health coach and an online peer network so people on the cusp of chronic disease can find support.

The study findings are especially significant given the participants' age. People in the program were, on average, 70 years old, and their weight loss correlates with data from the Diabetes Prevention Program clinical trial. The trial found that people over 60 at risk for chronic disease have a 71% reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes at 3 years if they lose the same amout of weight, Omada said in a statement.

Adherence data from the study also weighed in Omada's favor. Seniors stuck with Prevent over time, with more than 85% of participants staying active in the program after 6 months, the company said.

"Diabetes and prediabetes prevalence in seniors is at serious levels, and type 2 diabetes is one of the biggest cost drivers in the health care system--especially for those 65 and older," Omada CEO Sean Duffy said in a statement. "These results demonstrate digital behavioral interventions like Prevent provide a scalable, effective option for reducing diabetes risk--and can help stem the tide of the chronic disease epidemic for America's seniors."

With positive study results in tow, Omada is planning to expand its program's reach. Earlier this year, the San Francisco-based company said it would kick off a similar trial for Medicaid members, and it has already made progress on that front. Omada is halfway through a usability study, and expects to kick off a clinical trial in the first quarter of 2016, Duffy told MedCityNews.

Eventually, the company's program results could convince the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to reimburse for diabetes prevention. "There's a lot of dialogue at the CMS level for expanding coverage for these types of programs," Duffy said, as quoted by MedCityNews. "We will keep following this cohort."

Meanwhile, Omada continues to forge ahead with its Prevent program. In September, the company raked in $48 million in a Series C round led by Norwest Venture Partners, with existing funders such as Humana and new investors including GE Ventures chipping in funds. The program has already enrolled more than 20,000 participants, and Omada has boosted its employee base from 75 last year to more than 185 to support growth.

- here's the statement
- read the MedCityNews story