UnitedHealth Group Wednesday said it has partnered with DexCom to launch a glucose monitoring program that uses a wearable device to help older Americans continuously manage their Type 2 diabetes via mobile technology.
Initially, the pilot program will involve giving an undisclosed number of enrollees in UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans a device that includes an activity tracker. Health plan enrollees can use the “Dexcom Mobile Continuous Glucose Monitoring System” to track their blood glucose levels around the clock.
“Continuous glucose monitoring can be a game changer for people enrolled in our Medicare Advantage plans, as the data can be translated into personalized information that can be acted upon in real time,” Brian Thompson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare and retirement unit said.
The business of mobile monitoring technology to manage chronic conditions is becoming more competitive with big names in technology and health insurance developing products, devices and attracting investments.
Already in the market with a mobile device and diabetes management program is fast-growing startup Livongo Health. Last year, Livongo attracted more than $50 million in new funding to “accelerate growth in diabetes management , expand to other chronic conditions, and move to international markets,” the company said at the time.
In addition, Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans including Anthem have partnered with Alphabet-backed Onduo to monitor glucose levels of patients with diabetes using a wearable device the insurers hope will improve health outcomes. A pilot is beginning this year, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has said.
Health plans and technology companies in the space see the costs