This post was originally published on the Fitbit press site. It has been adapted from its original format.
Fitbit, the leading global wearables brand, and Solera Health, an integrated benefit network, announced they have expanded their partnership to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by using the Fitbit platform through Solera Health’s innovative model to encourage positive behavior changes, such as increased physical activity and weight loss. Based on an analysis of more than 1,700 people who enrolled in the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) through the Solera network, Solera found that participants who redeemed a Fitbit device were more active and lost more weight during the program than those who did not. Now, the companies are making the latest Fitbit devices, Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR, available to all Solera DPP participants, including Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
Type 2 diabetes affects more than 30 million American adults and costs the U.S. approximately $327 billion annually in direct medical expenses and lost productivity. Yet, the onset of disease can be delayed – or even prevented – among the 84 million U.S. adults at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that people with prediabetes who lost 5% of their body weight through healthier eating and 150 minutes of activity per week cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half. This intervention strategy is the foundation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National DPP, which is now a covered preventive service for all Medicare beneficiaries.
Solera brings a proven business model to the partnership with Fitbit that solves for scale and personalization. Solera contracts with health plans and employers to match individuals with the best-fit digital or community-based DPP that meets each person’s unique needs and preferences. To date, Solera has enrolled over 100,000 people in the National DPP through its network model.
“At Fitbit, we have spent the last 12 years empowering people to live healthier lives, and we believe that a proactive approach is essential to the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes,” said Adam Pellegrini, general manager, Fitbit Health Solutions. “We are focused on addressing some of the most common and costly conditions in healthcare – and diabetes is a top priority. Through our work with Solera over the past two years, we have shown that Solera’s model, based on proven health outcomes, coupled with our innovative devices, motivating platform and proven behavior change principles, is an effective combination for preventing type 2 diabetes.”
Beginning in 2017, Solera began offering Fitbit devices to individuals who used Solera to enroll in community-based or digital DPPs. Solera conducted an analysis of more than 1,700 people who enrolled between January 1, 2017 and March 31, 2017.
Key findings from the Solera analysis include:
- At the one-year mark, DPP participants who redeemed a Fitbit device lost a larger percent of their starting weight than non-Fitbit participants (-3.38% vs -2.27%, p=0.013) and were much more likely to achieve the 5% weight loss milestone compared to those who did not (51% vs 36%, p=<0.001).
- By weeks 10-16, DPP participants who redeemed a Fitbit device reported an extra 60 minutes of weekly activity compared to non-Fitbit participants and continued to report at least 45 minutes more weekly activity through the maintenance phase of the program in months 6-12.
- Participants age 60-69 years old were more likely than any other age group included in the analysis to redeem a Fitbit device through the program, which is significant given that 61% of all healthcare costs attributed to diabetes care are for people over age 65.
The analysis shows that Fitbit devices can play a meaningful role in improving health outcomes for participants in DPPs. Based on the success of the partnership to date, Fitbit and Solera are exploring additional opportunities to scale their collaboration in 2019, including offering Fitbit’s latest activity trackers, Fitbit Inspire™ and Fitbit Inspire HR™, to Solera’s DPP participants.
“Solera is thrilled to enter a strategic partnership with Fitbit as there are many market synergies between what the two companies are doing to improve the health of those at risk for type 2 diabetes,” said Brenda Schmidt, CEO of Solera Health. “Our unique ability to connect individuals with the best-fit DPP to meet their needs and preferences, paired with Fitbit’s easy-to-use wearable devices, has the potential to significantly alter how populations approach chronic disease prevention and management. We look forward to scaling this partnership further in order to help future program participants maintain and improve their health.”
Fitbit Inspire™ and Fitbit Inspire HR™ were designed for and made available first to health plans, employers and health systems. They meet the specific needs of the healthcare industry with a sleek, easy-to-use tracker form factor, core health and fitness features, cross-platform compatibility, up to 5 days battery life depending on usage and the software and social experience that motivate users at an approachable price point. The devices are currently available to plan members and employees of Fitbit Health Solutions partners and customers, including Humana, Adobe, and Domino’s, among others.