Fruit Street Becomes the First Digital Health Company to Deliver the CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program via Live Group Telehealth Classes
The digital health and telemedicine company Fruit Street Health has announced that it is the first organization with pending recognition status from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) to deliver the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (“DPP”) via group telehealth classes.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (PRWEB) AUGUST 19, 2017
The digital health and telemedicine company Fruit Street Health has announced that it is the first organization with pending recognition status from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) to deliver the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (“DPP”) via group telehealth classes and live video conferencing.
The DPP resulted from clinical work conducted by the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group, which conducted a major multicenter clinical research study that was published in 2002. The study contained 3,234 participants who were overweight and had prediabetes, and was aimed at discovering whether modest weight loss through dietary changes and increased physical activity or treatment with the oral diabetes drug metformin (Glucophase) was more effective at preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes. Among its findings, the study showed that people at risk for developing diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by losing a modest amount of weight through diet and exercise. DPP participants in the lifestyle intervention group reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent during the study. Lifestyle changes worked particularly well for participants aged 60 and older, reducing their risk by 71 percent.
The DPP was originally facilitated to groups of 10-20 prediabetes patients meeting with a trained lifestyle coach in a physical location such as the YMCA. The lifestyle coach would facilitate 16 1-hour long group classes in the first six months and 6 1-hour long group classes in the last six months. Patients would physically drive to these classes which can be inconvenient especially if they live in a rural area where they may have to drive 30 to 60 minutes in one direction to attend class.
Fruit Street addresses the limitations and barriers of physical class attendance by allowing patients to attend their DPP classes via group telehealth video calls, which eliminates both the cost and wasted travel time of commuting to a physical class.
In the Fruit Street DPP delivery model, a registered dietitian conducts these classes via group video where all of the patients can see and speak to one another. In addition, each patient is issued a Fitbit, wireless scale, and the Fruit Street mobile application which allows them to take pictures of their food and receive feedback from their lifestyle coach. The wireless scale records the weight of the patients throughout the DPP and the Fitbit both encourages a healthy lifestyle and transmits exercise data back to the registered dietitian in a HIPAA compliant environment.
Laurence Girard, CEO and Founder of Fruit Street, believes that the Fruit Street DPP is an unique and effective approach to diabetes prevention. “It is true,” states Girard, “that there are other successful virtual diabetes prevention programs, but Fruit Street is very different from these virtual models. For example, one virtual program delivers the majority of its DPP curriculum through articles and recorded content that patients read on their own time. This model is convenient for patients who want to read content on their own time and cannot meet with a lifestyle coach at the same time every week. We believe, however, that many patients would prefer to speak with a live registered dietitian and the other participants in the group via live video conferencing which is more similar to an in-person interaction.”
Fruit Street’s DPP telehealth model is a digital version and very similar to the structure of the original DPP clinical trial where patients met with a lifestyle coach at a YMCA in-person. Instead of sitting at a physical table, patients are sitting at a virtual table via group video conferencing conducted on the Fruit Street digital health platform. Girard stated, “Fruit Street’s similarity to the original DPP clinical trial gives us the ability to protect the DPP program integrity and we believe will enable us to deliver excellent clinical outcomes. This similarity combined with the fact patients can do these classes from the convenience of their home or office via telehealth makes the Fruit Street telehealth DPP model a great option for patients.”
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