UCSF Diabetes Center, Yes Health team-up on precision medicine initiative to prevent diabetes

Yes Health app

The Diabetes Center at UCSF has teamed-up with Yes Health to develop an all-mobile program to prevent type 2 diabetes. Said tools will enable users to share important de-identified behavioral data, such as diet, exercise, and sleep patterns, with UC San Francisco researchers focused on both type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

“By connecting the data from our mobile type 2 diabetes prevention program with the unparalleled health sciences and patient care network of UCSF, we hope to take a significant step towards developing better prevention and treatment programs and moving toward our ultimate goal: putting an end to the disease,” Alex Petrov, founder and CEO of Yes Health, said in a statement.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 86 million Americans are identified as having prediabetes, yet 90 percent are unaware of their condition. People with prediabetes have higher than normal blood glucose levels, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Without intervention, 70 percent of people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes during their lifetime. These statistics drove Yes Health to act.

The goal of this precision medicine initiative will be to decipher the individual and integrated contributions of myriad risk factors using data.

“By working with Yes Health, we will be able to collect and analyze large amounts of behavioral data from people with prediabetes,” Matthias Hebrok, PhD, director of the Diabetes Center at UCSF, said in a statement. “In addition to providing us with rich insights regarding how behavioral and environmental factors impact those with prediabetes, these data can be coupled with cellular, genetic, and other biological data to create an unparalleled resource for scientific discovery. Additionally, this alliance will ultimately facilitate our ability to identify cohorts that can participate in clinical trials focused on the relationship between behavioral and biological aspects of diabetes risk, helping us develop highly individualized prevention and treatment programs.”

This is the first in a series of planned collaborations between the Diabetes Center at UCSF and Yes Health, which in addition to the precision medicine initiative, will also include the development of a broad array of educational and support services aimed at type 2 diabetes prevention.