By: Brenda Neugent
Adults with type 2 diabetes will soon have access to an extra team of health care professionals–available at their fingertips–thanks to BlueStar, a new digital product that recently earned FDA clearance.
The first diabetes-based app available by prescription and eligible for insurance reimbursement, BlueStar provides real-time motivational, behavioral, and educational coaching to assist patients in better managing their diabetes treatment plan.
After patients input their medications, blood sugar readings, diet and exercise, the program coordinates the results and makes suggestions to both them and their healthcare providers. It also offers positive reinforcement messages to help users stay on track.
“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,” says Dr. Richard Bergenstal, executive director at the International Diabetes Center 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 is a product of WellDoc, a Baltimore-based company devoted to developing technology to help treat and manage chronic diseases like diabetes. It offers expanded features beyond WellDoc’s previous app, Diabetes Manager, such as interaction with a patient’s medical team.
BlueStar can be used on smartphones, tablets, and desktops, and will be treated as a pharmacy benefit similar to other prescription products. It will be available this summer in select areas followed by a nationwide launch later this year.
“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,” says Chris Bergstrom, chief strategy and commercial officer at WellDoc.
Ford Motor Company and RiteAid will be among the first companies to offer the BlueStar program through company prescription benefit plans.