Omada Health’s Online Diabetes Prevention Program Helps Participants Lose Weight

December 31, 2012

On December 11, Omada Health launched Prevent (http://www.preventnow.com), an online version of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The landmark NIH-funded DPP study found that moderate weight loss (around 5% of body weight) and lifestyle changes could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%. Participants in Omada Health’s 16-week Prevent program receive one-on-one support from a professional health coach via phone and messaging, as well as online courses to guide them through the DPP curriculum. To see how it works, click here.

Most notably, Prevent uses social networking to bring together similar participants, who are matched together based on their age, BMI, and location. These small groups then support each other as they follow Prevent’s four-phase program, which entails changing participants’ food habits; increasing their activity and exercise levels; preparing to face the challenges that might otherwise cause participants to fall back into unhealthy habits; and then sustaining their new, healthier choices long-term. Prevent also incorporates health data tracking using a pedometer and a cellular-connected wireless scale, which participants receive in the mail when they sign up. A recent pilot study of 230 people found that Prevent participants lost an average of 14 pounds, or 6.4% of their body weight, and 72% of participants remained in the program for the full 16 weeks, which is a very strong retention rate for a this type of program.

Prevent currently costs $120 per month for the four-month course ($480 total). This price is for individual consumers, and Omada Health is also working on a commercial version that will be offered through employers. Omada is also in talks with insurers and health systems to secure reimbursement for the program – we believe this is a question of “when,” not “if.” For comparison, Retrofit costs $259-$359 per month, the weight management drug Qsymia costs $135-$185 per month without reimbursement, and the original DPP cost about $280 per month to administer. The YMCA’s DPP is cheaper, generally costing no more than $75 per month to administer, but it lacks the technological integration, online access, social networking, and greater privacy that could make Prevent particularly useful for those trying to balance healthier choices with the day-to-day pressures of their busy lives. –AW

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