It would seem logical that connected health devices and digital health systems would result in better outcomes for patients, but it’s good to have hard numbers from clinical studies to provide proof. Evidence-based programs demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) required by self-insured employers and healthcare systems before they will adopt new technology.
Wellsmith is a company that has developed a health management platform for healthcare providers and other enterprise-level customers. The company has been working with Cone Health in North Carolina to develop and test a system for Type 2 diabetes patients. Together, they ran two pilot study trials with impressive results. On average, test subjects increased their physical exercise by 24% and lost an average of one pound per week. Medication compliance averaged 74% — reaching 98% for the top 10% — compared with other studies that show less than 40% compliance. And A1c levels dropped by an average of more than one point.
The Wellsmith system is prescribed to patients with chronic diseases, and relies on a combination of connected mobile and wearable devices that feed data to a dashboard that healthcare professionals can use to monitor patient health. The system is designed to increase patient engagement so that they make better lifestyle choices. The HIPAA-compliant system delivers support and suggestions through a smartphone app. Wellsmith and Cone Health have rolled out the program to more consumers starting in 2018, with similar results. This is an important demonstration that connected digital health programs can demonstrate their effectiveness in dealing with chronic disease.