Digital Health Technology Improves A1C Levels, Delivering Robust Improvements for Diabetes Health Outcomes and Costs
Every 1% Reduction in A1C Results in 40% Reduction in Risk of Developing Eye, Kidney, and Nerve Disease; and a 21% Decrease in Death Related to Diabetes
DarioHealth reduces A1C by up to 2.3%
Mobile devices and big data are immensely powerful tools when applied to patient education for the management of chronic conditions like diabetes. The convergence that is happening today between healthcare and mobile digital platforms is saving lives, saving money, and improving quality of life for people living with chronic conditions.
DarioHealth’s digital diabetes care delivery platform, a leading solution in its category, has regulatory approval in the U.S. and six other countries where over 48 million people can benefit from the mobile-phone based solution that provides real-time data and coaching. Data published1 this year at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) showed that DarioHealth’s platform improved patient outcomes and reduced A1C by up to 2.3% in high A1C patients over 9 months, creating cost savings of $80 – $230 per month, based on a study of more than 17,000 people who were using the DarioHealth platform.
Savings created by DarioHealth are a very welcome and positive development in the face of skyrocketing healthcare costs associated with diabetes.
Last year in the U.S., direct medical costs for diabetes amounted to $237 billion according to the American Diabetes Association2. On an inflation adjusted basis, the economic cost of treating diabetes jumped 26% between 2012 and 2017.
DarioHealth is reversing this trend through its market leading digital health solutions which reduce A1C by between 1% – 2.3%.
A1C, or glycated hemoglobin, is a measure of the amount of sugar that is coating red blood cells. It is the best indicator of how well diabetes is being managed over time because it provides a 3-month average of blood sugar levels, as compared to a static reading from one point in time from a finger prick test.
People without diabetes have A1C levels of 4-6%. For people with diabetes, A1C of less than 7% is desired to help reduce the risk of complications. However, approximately half of people living with diabetes have A1C of greater than 7%.
Each 1% Decrease in A1C is Associated with Significant Reduction in Life-Threatening Complications of Diabetes
Rising A1C levels cause microvascular damage which leads to kidney failure, blindness, and lower-limb amputations. According to a Harvard study3, 44% of all kidney failure cases in the U.S. were caused by diabetes, while 73,000 lower-limb amputations in the U.S. were performed per year on adults living with diabetes.
A1C takes its toll on human life and wellbeing. Reductions in A1C, as created by DarioHealth, can have a tremendous beneficial impact.
“In general, for every 1% reduction in results of A1C blood tests (e.g., from 8.0% to 7.0%), the risk of developing eye, kidney, and nerve disease is reduced by 40%,”4 according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
A report from the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School advocates for “disease self-management education”5, concluding that based on cost-benefit analyses, patient education in diabetes should be provided by insurers because it will lead to lower costs and improve patient health. Better self-management reduces A1C levels. The Harvard report indicates that a 1% reduction of A1C is associated with a 37% decrease in microvascular complications, a 14% reduction in myocardial infarction, and a 21% decrease in death related to diabetes.
Disease self-management education is exactly what DarioHealth’s platform delivers. By providing actionable, real-time data, coupled with coaching and patient education, all delivered through the patient’s mobile phone, DarioHealth’s digital health solutions empower patients to optimize their self-care.
“Benefits to the user are clear, as evidenced both in the quantitative data we have gathered, as well as through the qualitative data we receive daily from users who inform of us improvements in their wellbeing. We have created a supportive online community and real-time connectivity with care givers that is a positive feedback loop for patients that rewards self-care,” stated DarioHealth CEO Erez Raphael.
Substantial Financial Benefits Result From Each 1% Reduction in A1C
The high financial costs associated with complications from diabetes is well documented. Results from a four-year long study published in Diabetes Care underscores the very high financial impacts of just a 1% increase in A1C.
For every 1% increase in A1C over normal levels, health care costs increased by 4% (A1C of 7%), 10% (A1C of 8%), 20% (A1C of 9%), and 30% (A1C of 10%). The study concluded, “The medical charge data suggest that investment in clinical systems to improve diabetes care may benefit both payers and patients.”6
“We are seeing a growing movement among payers, including employers and insurers, who see the economic incentive to pay for digital health solutions like ours,” said Raphael. “DarioHealth is gaining increasing traction with our DarioEngage platform, which integrates with healthcare providers’ internal systems to deliver patient coaching based on real-time data and analytics.”
One healthcare provider closely watching the correlation between A1C levels and medical costs, Geisinger Health System7, estimates a 1% reduction in A1C saves them $8,000 per year for the person insured. A broader study from Diabetes in Control reported that better management of diabetes can reduce cost per patient by an average of $1,328 per month, about $16,000 per year.8
First and foremost, improving patient health is the goal of DarioHealth’s digital health technologies and data reported at the American Diabetes Association show DarioHealth’s solution does exactly that. The secondary benefit of lowered healthcare costs is critical. Lower costs for payers creates economic justification for increased investments in digital health solutions like DarioHealth’s, thus making these highly-effective solutions available to more people living with chronic conditions. DarioHealth has created a broader positive feedback loop, empowering patients to greater levels of self-care and incentivizing payers to provide digital health solutions that reduce healthcare costs.