UCSF to pit Livongo diabetes management program against standard of care

Livongo and the University of California, San Francisco, are looking to quantify the outcomes of patients using a traditional glucose meter against those of patients using Livongo’s diabetes management program. To that end, the duo launched a randomized, controlled trial that will recruit 300 adults with Type 2 diabetes. 

The study will randomize the patients to either receive a Bluetooth blood glucose meter and unlimited free test strips or to take part in the Livongo for Diabetes program, which includes a cellular-connected blood glucose meter, unlimited free test strips and remote digital coaching with certified diabetes educators. These coaches can work with users to bring their glucose levels down as quickly as possible, and unlimited test strips encourage patients to check their blood glucose often without worrying about the cost. 

In addition to being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the participants must be iPhone users who do not use a continuous glucose monitoring device or insulin pump. They may, however, use any type of medication to manage their disease. 

After six months of treatment, the investigators will measure the change in HbA1c levels in both groups. 

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“We are interested to see how an innovative solution like Livongo truly impacts people,” said Jenise Wong, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor at UC San Francisco and the principal investigator of the study, dubbed SUGAR, or Study to Understand Gaining Access to Blood Glucose Records. “By conducting a randomized controlled trial, we can better understand the degree to which innovative offerings improve health outcomes.”  

The Mountain View, California-based company based its program on the blood glucose meter because the majority of diabetes patients use them. Despite recent innovation in the continuous glucose monitoring and artificial pancreas space, most patients do not use these "latest and greatest" tools to manage their disease,” said Amar Kendale, Livongo’s chief product officer, in a previous interview.