With the growth of digital health comes a bevy of apps for different devices and health goals. The innovation is spectacular—but could patients get overwhelmed?
Rick Anderson of DarioHealth thinks so. “Users may have separate apps for different conditions, and they have coaching and data in these different apps. People can get overwhelmed and drop off,” he told MD+DI.
As president and general manager of North America for DarioHealth, Anderson is “pushing for a more consumer-centric approach,” particularly for patients with comorbidities. The company offers a user-centric platform that provides an integrated experience allowing patients to move from app to app instead of having to open each app individually. It also provides multichannel capabilities to educate patients and help them change behavior and habits. “We focus on conditions that are reactive to behavior and have a high level of comorbidities,” Anderson says.
The digital therapeutics platform was originally designed for diabetes but has since expanded to other conditions and chronic illnesses. “We noted that diabetes patients often have other risk factors such as hypertension and anxiety,” Anderson explained. “But there were no solutions that enabled patients to monitor diabetes and hypertension.” The “open” platform now monitors the patient’s entire journey, and it can adjust to data from apps on a range of health conditions including weight management and musculoskeletal and behavioral health. The software can integrate with the Apple Health Kit and can integrate with software from individual devices and sensors. “We push everything onto the smartphone,” he says.
Dario utilizes AI to help patients along those journeys. “If we get more data, we can learn more about patients,” he said. “We use data at scale.” For instance, the software applies billions of data points from more than 200,000 current users in combination with each user’s unique data and preferences, according to Dario’s web site. “We start you on a journey with people like you, and we adjust the journey according to how you respond,” Anderson told MD+DI.
Anderson is hopeful the platform can help address current challenges in healthcare access, quality, and cost. He acknowledges that telehealth use has certainly accelerated during the pandemic but says “it is really just a digital version of analog provider visits. It is one-to-one, and it requires a high-speed connection.” Digital therapeutics, on the other hand, “can be asynchronous communication, doesn’t need a high-speed connection, and can lower cost and increase access with its one-to-many approach. It also provides data that looks at every single day.”
In addition, the use of AI and machine learning in healthcare could help manage expenses. “It could predict when people will need care,” he says.
Dario has announced several recent contracts with employers and insurers. This month a large Northeast regional employer in the finance industry signed on for Dario's full platform, while a Northeast regional employer in the food industry opted for Dario's digital therapeutic solution for diabetes.