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How CHIDS, Welldoc Are Using AI To Improve Health Outcomes

Sep 16, 2020

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The Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and industry partner, Welldoc, have announced findings as a result of their continued health data analytics partnership aimed at gaining insights into successful patterns of digital health engagement.

CHIDS applied machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence-driven (AI) analytical methods to discover habits in how individuals with cardiometabolic diseases are using Welldoc’s digital health tool, BlueStar, to improve the self-management of a chronic disease and associated health, economic and quality outcomes.

“Our work is uncovering novel insights in the use of digital health tools. Preliminary results suggest that the conversion of BlueStar engagement into ‘digital health habits’ can alter user behaviors and result in improved diabetes outcomes,” said Ritu Agarwal, interim dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business and founding director of CHIDS.

With access to BlueStar end-user aggregated data, CHIDS is able to apply Welldoc’s IDEA analytical framework – Inform, Discover, Extrapolate and Adapt – to unearth new forms of insights. Insights are determined by analyzing the relationship between improvements in glycemic, hypertension and lipid control and a variety of independent variables including activity, nutrition, medication adherence, education and social determinants.

“Welldoc is revolutionizing chronic disease management to help transform lives. BlueStar and our digital health solutions for heart failure, hypertension and pre-diabetes unlock the opportunity to collect vast amounts of data that the healthcare system has never had access to before,” said Dr. Anand K. Iyer, Welldoc’s Chief Strategy Officer. “When we have insights into glucose testing, medication adherence, activity, diet, sleep and symptoms, we can zero-in at the patient level on the exact engagement patterns that are delivering a desired outcome for an individual.”

Preliminary data have already uncovered patterns of a user’s early engagement and habit formation that may predict higher persistence with the app. These initial data findings also show improvements in blood glucose levels months later for users who engaged early and often.

BlueStar is an FDA-cleared digital health solution for diabetes, backed by more than 52 peer-reviewed clinical posters and publications, that:

  • Engages people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes;
  • Delivers tailored, real-time feedback – 24/7, on or offline – to improve long-term health;
  • Connects users with their own care team to provide new opportunities to optimize care;
  • Seamlessly integrates with blood glucose meters, pharmacies, labs, activity and fitness trackers;
  • Aggregates critical data to assist by delivering actionable insights to the user’s care team;
  • Allows providers to use remote patient monitoring codes for reimbursement.

View the original announcement: Welldoc and [CHIDS] Employ AI to Identify Digital Health Habits™ that May Predict Improved Outcomes.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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