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India, March 19, 2021: The number of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in South Asia was estimated to be 88 million in 2019 and is expected to reach 115 million by 2030. In fact, South Asians, who represent approximately one-fourth of the global population, are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with T2D. This alarming rise can be ascribed to the fast-changing lifestyle characterized by urbanization and sedentary living. However, numerous studies have suggested poor glycemic control in patients with T2D in South Asian countries. Moreover, the early onset of the disease in India coupled with the high burden leads to poor management of the condition.
New research published today in the Journal of Medical Internet Research shows that leveraging a digital therapeutics platform such as Wellthy Care can lead to improved glycemic control and, thereby, better management of T2D. The study—“Evaluating Glycemic Control in Patients of South Asian Origin with T2D Using a Digital Therapeutic Platform: Analysis of Real-World Data”—was conducted by Wellthy Therapeutics.
Traditionally, diabetes education and support have been associated with hospital- or clinic–based practices. In fact, there is an overdependence on physicians for disease knowledge and support, so a digital intervention is needed. With increased mobile phone adoption across socioeconomic geographies, there is a huge potential for personalized therapy using technology. However, little is known about the effect of digital therapeutics in South Asian populations. Notably, Wellthy Therapeutics’ work is one of the first to report the real-world effectiveness of a digital therapeutic that was a structured, behavioral, and self-management intervention delivered using a mobile-enabled app and an artificial intelligence (AI)–powered decision support system—Wellthy CARE in improving glycemic control among South Asians with T2D.
Lifestyle management including self-management education and support, medical nutrition therapy, physical activity, smoking cessation counselling, and psychosocial care are key strategies in controlling T2D. Self-monitoring of dietary calorie and fat intake and physical activity also play a great role. However, a lack of knowledge, awareness, and education, along with sole dependency on doctors for information, leads to poor glycemic control in most cases. Moreover, existing education programs for patients with T2D lack the cultural appropriateness to suit a country of diverse cultures, dialects, cooking styles, castes, and clans, such as India. This, in turn, makes the condition more severe, causing complications, poor quality of life, higher morbidity, and greater financial burden.
Considering these limitations, scientists at Wellthy Therapeutics conducted a 16-week study to assess the real-world effect of the Wellthy CARE digital therapeutics platform on glycemic control. Based on deidentified data, 102 patients with T2D from India enrolled in a 16-week structured self-management program delivered using the Wellthy CARE mobile app. Patients recorded their meals, weight, physical activity, and blood sugar in the app, and they received lessons on self-care behaviors (healthy eating, being active, monitoring, medication adherence, problem solving, healthy coping, and reducing risks); feedback provided by an AI-powered chatbot; and periodic interactions with certified diabetes educators via voice calls and chats.
The program adopted a digital persuasion model that focused on improving the patients’ motivation, reducing the difficulty in performing a particular task, and then delivering appropriate triggers to the patients to take action. This was done through short culturally relevant content delivered in multiple formats such as informative lessons, videos, and protips along with quizzes and storyboards to reinforce the information and simple tasks to prompt actions.
In conclusion, the research found a significant improvement in HbA1c and blood sugar values after a 16-week program, suggesting the potential of the Wellthy CARE platform for improving glycemic control in patients with T2D. The intervention demonstrated an incremental reduction in HbA1c, fasting blood glucose, and postprandial blood glucose values with greater levels of engagement, suggesting the feasibility, acceptance, and value of using a digital therapeutic in resource-constrained countries of South Asia. It also proved that platforms such as Wellthy CARE can successfully fill resourcing gaps in underserved countries and provide meaningful improvements in diabetes management across a wide range of population types.
About Wellthy Therapeutics
Wellthy Therapeutics is a leading digital therapeutics (DTx) company working across Europe and Asia with the mission to bridge the gap for better health outcomes by enabling digital care for complex clinical conditions.
The company’s proprietary platform Wellthy Care helps to prevent, manage, or treat complex clinical conditions. It works closely with pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, insurers (payors), and health (hospital) systems to design and deploy clinically validated digital therapeutic solutions to achieve real-world clinical and business outcomes across multiple therapeutic areas. The platform works to deliver outcome, adherence, and risk reduction solutions, all with the patient (end user) at the center.
Individual Digital Therapeutic solutions in the company’s portfolio cover type II diabetes, cardiology, women’s health, respiratory, and select rare diseases. Real-world evidence across these therapeutic conditions is showcased through over 20 clinical publications, by working with global health care partners helping patients in over 600 cities worldwide.
For more information, visit www.wellthytherapeutics.com
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Krishnakumar A, Verma R, Chawla R, Sosale A, Saboo B, Joshi S, Shaikh M, Shah A, Kolwankar S, Mattoo V. Evaluating Glycemic Control in Patients of South Asian Origin With Type 2 Diabetes Using a Digital Therapeutic Platform: Analysis of Real-World Data. J Med Internet Res 2021;23(3):e17908.