From the Bits blog of the New York Times:
There is no doubt that diabetes is a national health crisis – and a costly one. . . . Today, one in five health care dollars is spent caring for people with diabetes. A third of Medicare spending goes to treat diabetes and its complications.
That spending is focused on the nearly 26 million Americans who have diabetes. Yet the potentially larger, looming problem is the estimated 79 million who have “prediabetes,” meaning they have elevated glucose levels in their blood and run a high risk of developing the disease.
Anything that can slow the alarming advance of the disease would be a medical triumph, and a potential moneymaker. Omada Health, a San Francisco start-up, certainly hopes so. On Tuesday it is introducing a diabetes prevention program, Prevent, for marketing to the general public.
Omada joins a flurry of young companies that focus on health and wellness programs including Keas, RedBrick Health and Virgin HealthMiles. But these businesses typically sell their offerings to corporations that want to encourage their employees to be healthier and to curb medical bills.
Omada sets itself apart from these other companies, first, by focusing specifically on diabetes, and second, by marketing its program to the general public.