WellDoc Launches BlueStar, First FDA-Cleared, Mobile Prescription Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes with Insurance Reimbursement
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)
Today, at the 2 annual Digital Health Summer Summit, WellDoc, a healthcare behavioral science and technology company, announced the launch of BlueStar, a new product in a novel class of diabetes therapy. BlueStar will be reimbursed and adjudicated as a pharmacy benefit similar to other prescription products and will be available this summer in select areas followed by a nationwide launch later this year.
In coordination with the launch, Ford Motor Company, Rite Aid, DexCom plus other Fortune 500 companies announced their employees and covered dependents will be among the first to have reimbursed access to BlueStar. Each of the companies is adding the product to its prescription benefit plans, which are managed by various health plans and pharmacy benefits managers.
"Healthcare is on the cusp of a revolution where new technologies can address epidemics, like diabetes, in ways never before imagined," said Rick Popp, director of employee benefits at Ford Motor Company. "We are excited about the possibilities of a product like BlueStar that may benefit our employees who face the daily challenges of living with type 2 diabetes. It's another example of Ford going further."
BlueStar is a patient-centered medical product that requires a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider and is cleared by the FDA for use by adults with type 2 diabetes. BlueStar is powered by the proprietary WellDoc Automated Expert Analytics System and provides real-time motivational, behavioral and educational coaching to help patients self-manage their diabetes treatment plan.
"Giving patients access to a prescribed mobile therapy that helps tailor treatment to an individual's needs and their physician's orders may prove to be a major advancement in diabetes management," explained Richard Bergenstal M.D. executive director at the International Diabetes Center at Park Nicollet and former president of the American Diabetes Association. "In the era of healthcare reform, it's important that payers recognize that patients must have access to proven, novel digital tools."
BlueStar supports patients through smart blood glucose testing, healthy diet and exercise choices, medication adherence, and quality standards of care such as A1c tests, foot exams, and blood pressure and lipid levels. Additionally, BlueStar provides the patients physicians with clinical decision support and enables them to efficiently extend care beyond traditional office visits.
"At Rite Aid, we're committed to offering our associates a robust benefits package, ensuring they and their families have the tools, resources and support to help guide their healthcare decisions," explained Ken Black, Rite Aid group vice president of compensation, benefits and shared services. "Through the use of innovations such as BlueStar, we can provide covered Rite Aid associates and their eligible family members living with type 2 diabetes a useful tool that improves quality of care and supports healthier living."
According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 25.8 million people in the U.S. with diabetes, or 8.3% of the population. The total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity. BlueStar works on feature and smartphone platforms, tablets and desktops to help patients comply with their treatment protocols while also analyzing important data to assist clinicians in developing personalized care plans. It is supported by a national network of trainers who work with patients to introduce them to the product and make sure they fully understand its operability.
"This announcement exemplifies WellDoc's unparalleled commitment to transform diabetes self-management," said Chris Bergstrom, chief strategy and commercial officer. "Over the coming months, we will increase access to BlueStar, so adults living with type 2 diabetes can have the anywhere, anytime diabetes support they need."
Today, in San Diego at the Digital Health Summer Summit produced by Living in Digital Times, Anand K. Iyer, Ph.D, MBA, WellDoc president and COO, will deliver the morning keynote address titled From a Sugar Rush to Digital Health High. Then, during a special evening event, WellDoc executives will continue the discussion of this Next Generation Rx.