Highmark Health’s VITAL Innovation Platform to evaluate WellDoc’s® BlueStar® mobile app for improving outcomes among type 2 diabetes patients

Allegheny Health Network will spear­head the eval­u­a­tion to deter­mine clin­ical, finan­cial and patient expe­ri­ence outcomes related to BlueStar

PITTSBURGH, PA and COLUMBIA, MD (May 1, 2018) – Highmark Health announced today that through its VITAL Innovation Platform, a test-​and-​learn plat­form, it will be eval­u­ating WellDoc’s® BlueStar® mobile app, an FDA-​cleared, proven digital ther­a­peutic for indi­vid­uals with type 2 diabetes.

The unique VITAL program, which lever­ages Highmark Health’s posi­tion as the nation’s second largest inte­grated delivery and financing system, facil­i­tates real-​world testing of medical inno­va­tions through Allegheny Health Network (AHN), its physi­cians and its patients who enroll, producing evidence related to patient expe­ri­ence, and clin­ical and finan­cial outcomes. More than 150 patients will partic­i­pate in the eval­u­a­tion of BlueStar, which will yield further evidence that may accel­erate BlueStar’s coverage and utiliza­tion by Highmark Health and its affil­i­ated clin­i­cians and health plans, fast-​tracking BlueStar to patients.

Available on smart­phones and via a web version, WellDoc’s BlueStar mobile app is a digital health coach that uniquely engages with people with type 2 diabetes and delivers person­al­ized, real-​time feed­back, as well as person­al­ized diabetes educa­tional tools. It connects adults living with type 2 diabetes, their health care team members, and payers through enhanced commu­ni­ca­tion and support. Clinical evidence shows a 1.7 to 2.0 mean A1C reduc­tion for adults living with type 2 diabetes who use BlueStar. 

According to the CDC, nearly 30 million Americans are living with type 2 diabetes,” said Sarah Ahmad, senior vice pres­i­dent of inno­va­tion and trans­for­ma­tion for Highmark Health. Finding better ways to offer patients support and guid­ance in the fight against chronic disease is a priority of the VITAL program. WellDoc’s BlueStar app is demon­strating promise as a therapy that can help control diabetes, making it well suited for further testing through VITAL, which can help accel­erate the adop­tion of impor­tant new tech­nolo­gies, making them avail­able to patients sooner.”

In 2017, the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science named BlueStar the top app in clin­ical diabetes treat­ment. And in early 2018, Truven Health Analytics®, part of the IBM Watson HealthTM busi­ness, demon­strated that BlueStar could save on average a range of $254 to $271 per user per month in health care costs.

At Allegheny Health Network, our goal is to provide patient-​centered care that more effec­tively meets the compre­hen­sive needs of people with diabetes,” said Patricia Bononi, MD, medical director, AHN Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Health, and prin­cipal inves­ti­gator for the BlueStar test. Through the Highmark Health VITAL program, we are pleased to have the oppor­tu­nity to test a modality that stands to provide our patients yet another level of support in the day-​to-​day manage­ment of their diabetes.”
This eval­u­a­tion of BlueStar, in conjunc­tion with Allegheny Health Network and Highmark Health’s VITAL program, stands to demon­strate the power of a clinically-​proven digital ther­a­peutic to improve health outcomes and to lower costs of treat­ment,” said Kevin McRaith, WellDoc pres­i­dent and CEO

VITAL’s eval­u­a­tion of BlueStar will occur for a period of six months, concluding in December 2018.

More infor­ma­tion about Highmark Health
Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, PA based enter­prise that employs more than 40,000 people who serve millions of Americans across the country, is the second largest inte­grated health care delivery and financing network in the nation based on revenue. Highmark Health is the parent company of Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, and HM Health Solutions. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affil­i­ates provide health insur­ance to nearly 5 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware as well as dental insur­ance, vision care and related health prod­ucts through a national network of diver­si­fied busi­nesses that include United Concordia Companies, HM Insurance Group, and Visionworks. Allegheny Health Network is the parent company of an inte­grated delivery network that includes eight hospi­tals, more than 2,800 affil­i­ated physi­cians, ambu­la­tory surgery centers, an employed physi­cian orga­ni­za­tion, home and community-​based health services, a research insti­tute, a group purchasing orga­ni­za­tion, and health and well­ness pavil­ions in western Pennsylvania. HM Health Solutions focuses on meeting the infor­ma­tion tech­nology plat­form and other busi­ness needs of the Highmark Health enter­prise as well as unaf­fil­i­ated health insur­ance plans by providing proven busi­ness processes, expert knowl­edge and inte­grated cloud-​based plat­forms. To learn more, please visit www​.high​markhealth​.org. For infor­ma­tion specific to VITAL, please visit www​.vital​in​no​va​tion​.com.

More infor­ma­tion about Allegheny Health Network
Allegheny Health Network (AHN​.org), a Highmark Health company, is an inte­grated health­care delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region. The Network is composed of eight hospi­tals, including Allegheny General Hospital, its flag­ship acad­emic medical center in Pittsburgh, Allegheny Valley Hospital in Natrona Heights, Canonsburg Hospital in Canonsburg, Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Hills, Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh and Westfield Memorial Hospital in Westfield, NY. The Network provides patients with access to a complete spec­trum of advanced medical services, including nation­ally recog­nized programs for primary and emer­gency care, cardio­vas­cular disease, cancer care, ortho­pedic surgery, neurology and neuro­surgery, women’s health, diabetes and more. It also is home to a compre­hen­sive research insti­tute; Health + Wellness Pavilions; an employed physi­cian orga­ni­za­tion, home and commu­nity based health services and a group purchasing orga­ni­za­tion. The Network employs approx­i­mately 19,000 people, has more than 2,400 physi­cians on its medical staff and serves as a clin­ical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. To learn more, please visit www​.ahn​.org.

More infor­ma­tion about WellDoc®
WellDoc® is a leading digital ther­a­peutic company revo­lu­tion­izing chronic disease manage­ment to help trans­form lives. Our ground­breaking tech­nology is guiding indi­vid­uals through the compli­cated journey of living with chronic diseases, with a goal of helping indi­vid­uals self-​manage their condi­tions to achieve signif­i­cant clin­ical outcomes and cost savings. We began our journey by mastering diabetes manage­ment solu­tions and are moving rapidly into creating addi­tional tools for managing other chronic diseases including hyper­ten­sion, chronic obstruc­tive pulmonary disease (COPD) and conges­tive heart failure (CHF). We are the first digital health company based on a life science busi­ness model with a foun­da­tion that is built on random­ized clin­ical trials that demon­strate signif­i­cant clin­ical outcomes. We have taken an aggres­sive and inno­v­a­tive approach that utilizes sophis­ti­cated logic, precise algo­rithms, and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI), which inte­grates the most advanced mobile tech­nology and behav­ioral insights. WellDoc part­ners with, collab­o­rates with, and is backed by top health­care compa­nies (including Merck and Johnson and Johnson), leading inno­va­tors, dedi­cated investors, and top mobile tech­nology compa­nies (such as Samsung). For more infor­ma­tion, visit www​.welldoc​.com.
For infor­ma­tion specific to BlueStar®, please visit www2​.blues​tar​dia​betes​.com.


Janice Maszle
Highmark Health
412.217.7970 (cell)

Juliette Bogus
PressComm PR for WellDoc