Lark Health's Virtual Diabetes Prevention Program Reaches Vulnerable Populations in Health Provider Shortage Areas

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Lark Health, a leading chronic disease prevention and management platform, today released a study of its virtual Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), finding it produced positive clinical outcomes for adults at-risk for type 2 diabetes who live in a Health Provider Shortage Area (HPSA), a designation given to geographic regions with a shortage of primary care providers. Delivering care virtually to at-risk populations is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants using Lark's Fully CDC-Recognized DPP experienced an average weight loss of 10.4 pounds, or 4.3 percent of body weight, after completing the year-long program.

"This study demonstrates that Lark is fulfilling our mission of providing on-demand, compassionate virtual healthcare to those who need it most. Vulnerable populations living in HPSAs lack access to consistent primary care, but our virtual DPP is delivering long-term health and weight loss results, reducing their risk of type-2 diabetes," said Lark CEO, Julia Hu. "Lark offers highly effective coaching right from members' smartphones, an increasingly important goal under the threat of COVID-19 as it helps keep those at greater risk of complications healthy and at home."

Currently, 23.6 percent of the U.S. population lives in an officially designated HPSA, meaning the population-to-provider ratio in their region is at least 3,500 to 1 (or, 3,000 to 1 if there are unusually high needs in the community). Of the 25,035 participants enrolled in Lark's DPP during the period, 50.5 percent (12,634) resided in a HPSA and lacked regular access to primary care, illustrating the platform's ability to help a disproportionate percentage of this vulnerable population. Lark's research team examined their results after one year of participating in Lark's DPP and found that the average weight loss for users located in an HPSA was 4.3 percent. These results are on par with similar studies of Lark's DPP, in which participants saw an average weight loss of 4.2 percent after one year.

Weight loss is used as a clinical proxy for DPP program effectiveness, as obesity is closely related to insulin sensitivity, blood glucose control, and risk for type 2 diabetes. Patients with obesity also appear to be at higher risk for death from COVID-19, and are more likely to be hospitalized if they contract the virus. Sustained weight loss at one year has been clinically proven to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to the International Journal of Clinical Practice, while a study in Diabetes Care concluded that each kilogram lost correlates with a 16 percent lower risk for type 2 diabetes.

Lark's technology, and specifically the use of AI, allows the platform to serve millions of members, wherever they are and whenever they need it. For instance, each of the meals logged by a participant are followed by instantaneous coaching on meal quality and trends using AI and Natural Language Processing. Lark's platform breaks down barriers typically experienced in in-person and telephonic DPPs including cost, lack of coverage, and the inability to scale outcomes. With value-based billing through claims, and highly effective diagnosis and enrollment capabilities to identify those with Prediabetes, the program is seamless for health plans, governments, and self-funded employers to implement at scale.

About Lark Health
Lark Health is the leading integrated digital care platform, using proven AI, expert coaching, and smart connected devices to deliver clinical health outcomes at scale. Lark uses cutting-edge conversational AI and connected health monitors to provide real-time, one-on-one counseling to help members make healthier choices, manage their conditions, and when necessary reach expert nurses and coaches to make changes to medication or handle a significant blood sugar event, for example. Lark works with some of the largest health plans and employers in the country to help members live healthier lives. Founded by CEO Julia Hu and CTO Jeff Zira in 2011, the company has won numerous awards including "Most Innovative Companies in the World."

SOURCE Lark Health

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