AT&T and Alere Health are collaborating on a mobile-health platform that will allow caregivers at Alere to manage patients' type 2 diabetes using WellDoc's DiabetesManager software.
Alere provides patient-centered health management to 290,000 people with diabetes. It also enables patients to manage conditions such as heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.
DiabetesManager is an application that helps patients with diabetes manage their medication, communicate with doctors and improve their health outcomes, according to AT&T. With DiabetesManager, patients enter their blood glucose numbers and medication data on their mobile device or in a Web platform. The software then delivers feedback on how to maintain control of proper blood glucose levels.
By managing their condition using the application, type 2 diabetes patients were able to reduce hospital stays and ER visits in a 2011 study by George Washington University Medical Center.
AT&T and Alere announced their partnership on Aug. 8. The two companies describe the DiabetesManager platform as "end to end," with the platform connecting patients to Alere care managers and AT&T hosting the platform.
A major cause of heart disease and stroke, diabetes affects close to 26 million people in the United States and one in three U.S. adults may have diabetes by 2050, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Alere will integrate DiabetesManager with its Apollo platform, a clinical management system that provides connectivity to live clinicians around the clock.
Another Alere platform called Mya aids lower-risk patients, while DiabetesManager helps higher-risk individuals, according to AT&T.
"There are hundreds of m-health diabetes applications in the market today," Mike Cotton, CEO of Alere Health, said in a statement. "However, this solution will be one of the first to be fully connected to a clinical system as part of an integrated plan of care."
In addition to real-time coaching, DiabetesManager will enable Alere nurses, case workers and doctors to communicate directly with patients.
Both AT&T and Alere will market and sell DiabetesManager to health plans, insurers and employers. In addition, AT&T will provide customer service and host the platform as well as provide security and access on mobile devices.
"AT&T provides the hardware/software architecture and infrastructure design and implementation, including security of the environment and application, continuity services and secure geo-redundant hosting," Randall Porter, assistant vice president, for AT&T's ForHealth practice, told eWEEK in an email.
The carrier enables providers to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act's security requirements while using DiabetesManager, said Porter.
DiabetesManager will be available to Alere providers in the third quarter.
AT&T has launched similar diabetes-management platforms featuring WellDoc's DiabetesManager. HCSC, the fourth-largest health insurance company in the United States, has also signed on to use the mobile-health platform.
In 2010 AT&T formed a partnership with WellDoc to sell DiabetesManager to insurance payers, self-insured employers and disease-management organizations.
In addition to DiabetesManager, Alere and AT&T will collaborate on future health care IT products.
"Alere and AT&T are committed to work together on evaluating and implementing a joint health technology solution strategy utilizing each other's core competencies to define and drive additional solutions to market," said Porter.