WellDoc validates potential of BlueStar to reduce healthcare costs


WellDoc has clinically proven that hemoglobin A1C reductions for users of its BlueStar digital therapeutic with type 2 diabetes can translate into significant healthcare cost savings.

The proof came with the help of Truven Health Analytics, part of the IBM Watson Health business, which conducted an analysis for WellDoc using the MarketScan Research Databases, a family of research data sets that fully integrate de-identified patient-level health data, productivity, laboratory results, health risk assessments, hospital discharges, electronic medical records (EMR) and morbidity data into data available for healthcare research. Data are contributed by large employers, managed care organizations, hospitals, EMR providers, and Medicare and Medicaid programs; and findings are based on an analysis of commercial and Medicare consumers within the MarketScan Databases.

Truven Health researchers created a complex custom algorithm and applied it to the MarketScan data, resulting in quantified total costs broken down by A1C levels in a way that was comparable between ages, stability and degree of glycemic stability/control.

From there, WellDoc applied these new Truven Health findings to previous research it conducted about BlueStar’s ability to lower and control A1C, to show that BlueStar can save on average a range of $254 to $271 per user per month. A commercially covered patient living with type 2 diabetes costs the healthcare system annually an average of $13,000 to $20,000, depending on his or her A1C measurement.

“The data translate the clinical outcomes seen for BlueStar users into real-world savings in healthcare costs,” WellDoc President and CEO Kevin McRaith said in a statement. “Many employers, health plans and health systems are looking to integrate coverage for innovative healthcare technology solutions to help contain, avoid, or save on costs for their members or employees with chronic diseases, such as diabetes. The analysis helps to inform payers in making more precise decisions about which patients can benefit the most from a digital therapeutic.”

WellDoc’s FDA-cleared, proven digital therapeutic, BlueStar, provides real-time individualized coaching and support, as well as diabetes educational tools that are actionable and tailored for adults living with type 2 diabetes. It supports lifestyle changes and all medication regimens prescribed to individuals with diabetes. Additionally, the resulting patient-generated health data is summarized and shared with healthcare providers for focused conversations and timely clinical decision-making.

WellDoc and IBM Watson Health are working together on additional analyses.