A year after joining forces with a goal of improving health management for people with Type 2 diabetes, Abbott and WeightWatchers’ partnership has borne fruit.
The pair has now officially launched their connected app experience, they announced Tuesday. It allows people who are both WeightWatchers members and users of Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 continuous glucose monitors to see their CGM data in the WeightWatchers app.
And, while the feature is available to anyone who meets those criteria—whether they have Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetes—Abbott and WeightWatchers are specifically focused on serving the Type 2 population, since the condition can often be improved with lifestyle changes related to diet, exercise and weight management, which are the cornerstones of the WeightWatchers program.
The new CGM-connected feature is specifically meant for use alongside WeightWatchers’ diabetes-tailored plan, which was developed to help people with Type 2 diabetes form healthy habits that may help reduce both their weight and blood sugar levels.
The plan “has been proven to reduce members’ hemoglobin A1c by 0.76 and decrease diabetes distress by 9.8%,” Gary Foster, Ph.D., the company’s chief scientific officer, said in this week’s announcement, adding, “Together, our two trusted brands are helping people living with Type 2 diabetes better understand and manage their chronic condition and gain control of their health while still enjoying the foods they love.”
The partnership displays glucose data collected by a FreeStyle Libre sensor in several places throughout the WW app. For one, users can get an at-a-glance look on the app’s main page, where a “glucose card” showing their most recent CGM reading and average time in range will be displayed alongside weight, activity and sleep data.
Clicking on the card gives users a deeper look at the numbers: Separate tabs for glucose readings and time in range offer both real-time readings and longer-term analyses of trends over time. And, because those data are housed within the WeightWatchers app alongside a wealth of other health information, any particularly high or low readings can be matched up to specific changes in diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors that can affect blood sugar.
In an interview with Fierce Medtech during the American Diabetes Association’s annual scientific sessions in June, Marc Taub, Ph.D., divisional vice president of technical operations for Abbott’s diabetes business, said the company’s team-up with WeightWatchers is a “natural pairing.”
“We know that maintenance of a healthy weight or achieving a healthy weight is incredibly important for the management of Type 2 diabetes, and WeightWatchers is such a respected, most-prescribed name in weight management, and they have a diabetes-tailored program that helps people make healthy food choices with the goals of weight loss and lowering your HbA1c,” Taub said. “By having the FreeStyle Libre data within the app, they’re going to be able to see very clearly how their food choices affect their glucose and how being able to keep their glucose more in target ranges is going to improve their diabetes.”
Through the end of the year, WeightWatchers is offering a free monthlong trial of the WW diabetes-tailored plan to new members who sync a FreeStyle Libre 2 device with the app, after which the discounted monthly price ranges from $15 to $25.