Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) has teamed up with digital health-management specialist Healthrageous and pharmaceutical services provider United BioSource (UBC) to run a ‘beyond-the-pill’ study on self-management of diabetes.

BI, which has a product development and commercialisation alliance with Eli Lilly for oral diabetes agents (e.g., linagliptin) and basal insulin analogues, said the SMART study was part of a broader goal “to provide and develop solutions for patients and their families that contribute to a more holistic way of diabetes treatment”.

Launched by Healthrageous and UBC, the SMART study will evaluate a self-management solution enabled by digital technology and with potential to improve the health status of people with Type 2 diabetes, while generating a stream of patient-reported, biometric and claims data to elucidate associated health behaviour, outcomes and cost utilisation.

Self-management programme

The project, which was approved by a US Institutional Review Board (IRB), involves giving adults diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes for at least six months access to Healthrageous’s digital diabetes self-management programme.

Delivered via the web and smartphone, the programme will include a personalised action plan with health-behaviour improvement goals; a wireless glucose meter that transmits data to clinical monitors; and home test kits for  HbA1c levels.

UBC will identify, and help manage the recruitment of, study participants from nearly a dozen large US employers for the SMART project.

Digital impact

“By combining medical claims data, this collaboration will allow an evaluation of the impact a digital diabetes platform could have on medical and pharmaceutical costs, clinical care, consumer behaviour modification and device and self-reported biometric health measures,” the partners said.  

An Accountable Health company, Healthrageous provides individualised support tools for the prevention and self-management of chronic health conditions via the web and a mobile app.

The company’s proprietary platform incorporates personalised goal-setting, health journey maps with gaming dynamics, biometric feedback and interactive digital coaching.