Dubai, United Arab Emirates: GluCare.Health, the region’s most funded health tech startup, has partnered with global pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, market leader in Diabetes & Obesity, to introduce a blueprint for the future of healthcare.
An investment in the future health of society, the partnership will see a 150-patient weight management pilot program challenge the way traditional care providers view and manage chronic conditions like obesity. The model of care for the pilot program will combine new digital bio-markers alongside existing therapeutics. Utilizing wearable and connected technologies, it will offer an unparalleled level of in-patient and data-driven remote care. It is expected that this model will enhance obesity levels of care, and eventually treatment outcomes, in comparison to traditional models of care. This innovative partnership will put accountability for outcomes vs. costs on the provider, rather than on the insurers or patients. The partnership will be the region’s first value-based reimbursement model, and will be the first relationship of its kind for Novo Nordisk globally.
The six-month program, which begins in September, is open to people with obesity – those with a BMI of 30 or above – as well as individuals with a BMI of 27 or above who also have at least one weight-related comorbidity. Once enrolled in the program, patients will be under the care of GluCare’s multidisciplinary clinical team, which consists of a health coach, a nutritionist, a nurse/patient educator, and an endocrinologist, with the care team additionally monitoring patients virtually.
In this model where disease management is augmented by technology, patients will be provided wearable technology, including IoT (Internet of Things) devices for continuous data monitoring. Data, or digital biomarkers, collected from these wearable and connected tools will be available immediately to the patient on GluCare.Health’s mobile app. The clinical team will also have access to all the data collected through an intelligent analytic platform, which provides the care team with actionable insights. Participants will be continuously monitored by GluCare.Health clinical team for compliance and progress between the three compulsory in-person visits that are required by the participant to complete the program. Those enrolled in the program can also reach their physicians and coaches with queries and concerns directly through the GluCare.Health app, ensuring that their care is hyper-personalized.
GluCare.Health and Novo Nordisk are so confident in the success of this model of care that if patients do not lose at least 10% of their body weight by the end of the six-month program, GluCare.Health and Novo Nordisk will cover all or a portion of the cost as part of the value-based reimbursement pilot. GluCare.Health is committed to transparency when it comes to reporting results of the program.
According to Novo Nordisk’s Vice President and General Manager, UAE, Mads Bo Larsen, the pilot program addresses the complex nature of obesity in a way that has never been done before anywhere in the world.
“Obesity is a complex serious chronic disease associated with many other health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases & certain types of cancers². Since 1975, the global rate of obesity has nearly tripled and this trend threatens healthcare systems, economies, and individual lives4. It is well-documented that obesity management requires a holistic approach and a comprehensive solution, and we strongly believe that combining technology with traditional therapeutics will enhance treatment outcomes. Globally, we are always looking for solution partners who have proven results and think outside the box, and are delighted to have selected GluCare.Health as our partners.”
GluCare.Health’s Co-Founder and Chairman, Ali Hashemi said that the partnership and the pay-for-performance model is a vote of confidence for GluCare.Health’s comprehensive, hyper-individualized model of care, as well as a challenge to other care providers.
“Since launching in 2020, we at GluCare.Health have proven that hyper-personalized care, using the intelligence of machines to “superpower” our humans, fundamentally humanizes the care model itself and drives superior outcomes for patients with chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity. This partnership with Novo Nordisk aims to highlight to payors, other care providers, the business community and of course our valued community, just how and why it works so well.”
With one in three adults affected by obesity in the UAE, GluCare.Health’s Co-Founder and Managing Director, Dr. Ihsan AlMarzooqi added that beyond the potentially devastating human cost, this blueprint for care has the potential to save the UAE economy and businesses billions of dollars in costs and lost productivity.
“When patients with chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity are not supported properly, it can have a devastating impact on those individuals and their families. More broadly, the cost of treating the health consequences of obesity to the UAE economy alone is approximately $3.6 billion dollars annually. Traditional models of care remain woefully limited when it comes to outcomes, despite decades of advances in pharmaceutical therapies. This partnership allows us to embed Novo Nordisk’s advanced therapeutics into a companion platform like GluCare.Health, which enhances its efficacy dramatically. To date, GluCare.Health’s model of care has supported thousands of patients with chronic conditions and with this partnership with Novo Nordisk we look forward to changing the lives of our initial cohort of patients and many more to follow.”
The first hybrid Digital Therapeutics (DTx)+Human vertically integrated diabetes platform of its kind in the world, GluCare.Health is reinventing metabolic care and transforming lives. Conceptualized in the UAE and opening the doors to its state-of-the-art 10,000 sq foot Dubai clinic in September 2020, it is the world’s first healthcare provider to empower both clinicians and patients through Remote Continuous Data Monitoring as part of its standard model of care, an innovative and highly personalized ‘continuous healthcare’ approach that provides a comprehensive and real-time view of patients. As part of its unique model, GluCare is also an early adopter of – and the region’s first clinic to use – Digital Therapeutics (DTx), combining it with wearable and smart technology, data analytics, unique in-clinic workflows, and a caring and connected expert care team. Applying technology as a humanizing force, GluCare.Health’s team partners with patients and their families, giving them the tools, knowledge, and continuous support to live longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.