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Digital Diabetes System Shown to Cut Health Care Use

Dario digital diabetes app

Dario digital diabetes app (DarioHealth Corp.)

9 May 2023. A study of people with type 2 diabetes shows those using a digital diabetes management system made fewer hospital visits than non-users over a 12-month period. A team from Sanofi U.S. in New York, a division of the global pharmaceutical company, reported the data assessing the DarioHealth Digital Diabetes Solution at the ISPOR 2023 conference now underway in Boston.

Diabetes is chronic disease where islet cells in the pancreas do not produce insulin, or not enough insulin, to convert the sugar glucose in the blood to energy. The continued presence of excess glucose in the blood increases the risk of other long-term health problems such as heart disease, vision loss, skin wounds, and kidney disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 90 to 95 percent of the 37.3 million people in the U.S. with diabetes, or 11.3 percent of the total population, have type 2 diabetes where the body does not produce enough insulin or process it well.

DarioHealth Corp. in New York is a developer of electronic medical devices for chronic disease management, including its Dario Diabetes Solution for people with type 2 diabetes. The system uses a pocket-sized and self-contained blood analysis device to read blood glucose levels that sends the data to a companion mobile app. The app, says DarioHealth, also tracks carbs consumed, physical activity, and medication compliance.

In Mar. 2022, DarioHealth and Sanofi announced a multi-year partnership to advance Dario’s digital health systems in the U.S. commercial health care marketplace. One part of that collaboration is to conduct demonstrations of DarioHealth devices and their value to patients, as well as health care providers and payers.

Matched system users and non-users

The ISPOR 2023 paper — ISPOR is a professional society for health economics and outcomes research — reports on hospital visits by people with type 2 diabetes, divided between Dario Diabetes Solution or DDS users and non-users. The paper’s authors from Sanofi U.S. and academia note that people with diabetes are also likely to develop other conditions, and thus their increased use of health care resources is well-documented.

The researchers extracted data from non-identified medical records of 9,779 individuals in the U.S. with type 2 diabetes, of which 2,445 used the DDS system and 7,334 were non-users, and all taking medications to control their condition. The team matched the records of DDS users and non-users by age, sex, race, section of the U.S., and type of health insurance (e.g., commercial, Medicare).

An analysis of the records shows DDS users made 9.3 percent fewer hospital visits for any reason after 12 months than system non-users since the start of the study period, with in-patient hospitalizations 23.5 percent lower among DDS users. In both cases, say the authors, the differences are large enough for statistical reliability. Emergency room visit rates during the 12-month period, however, were similar for both groups.

Omar Manejwala, DarioHealth’s chief medical officer, says in a company statement that the findings demonstrate “Dario’s ability to potentially reduce health care utilization through a holistic, user-centric digital health solution.”  Manejwala adds, “These results are important not only to our clients and partners who are looking for solutions to help reduce the cost of care, but also to the market as we push for more accountability in digital health research.”

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