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Putting Applied Health Signals to Work Against the COVID-19 Outbreak

Dr. Jennifer Schneider, MD MS

03.18.20

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Managing Coronavirus for Chronic Conditions

These are challenging days for all of us. As the coronavirus spreads and turns our daily lives upside down, we find ourselves worried about staying healthy, wondering what the economic fallout will mean for paychecks, figuring out how to work from home while keeping our kids active and learning, and so much more. As someone living with Type 1 Diabetes, I know that those of us who have chronic conditions may be carrying an extra burden of stress and anxiety. While we’re no more likely than anyone else to be infected by COVID-19, we are as a population at greater risk of serious complications, should we contract it.

Difficult as things are, I’ve never felt the importance of Livongo’s mission and the relevance of our offering more than I do today. At a time when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health agencies are urging social distancing and hospitals and even telehealth providers are experiencing overload, our Applied Health Signals platform is actively helping to keep our more than 220,000 Members out of waiting rooms and off jammed nursing hotlines. As always, our Members will be able to monitor their conditions, receive Health Nudges™, and access 24/7 digital and live coaching – all from the safety of their homes. Through our supply chain preparedness efforts, Members can continue to order free test strips and lancets directly through their cellular devices, the Livongo mobile app, or through Livongo Member Support professionals. Supplies are delivered right to their front doors, helping to support social distancing recommendations.

Unfortunately, many institutions have limited capacity to deliver virtual care, especially given an expected increase in the number of people seeking care and healthcare provider absenteeism from illness. For all of these reasons, the Livongo solution is especially valuable for people with chronic conditions during the current pandemic.

Beyond these always-available services, we have developed and rolled out a targeted coronavirus response effort to keep our Members healthy, informed, and supported through the duration of this pandemic.

Up-to-date resources. Our Members naturally have specific questions and concerns about what coronavirus might mean for someone with diabetes, hypertension, or other chronic conditions. We’ve launched and will continue to update a Coronavirus Resource Center with detailed FAQs and the latest guidance from the CDC, American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Heart Association (AHA), and JDRF. We’re also updating Members on the latest guidance via regular Member newsletters and upcoming special webinars.

Targeted Health Nudges™ and coaching. The health advice for people who are infected with COVID-19 is supportive in nature. Given our collection of real-time biometric data in our vulnerable population, paired with experienced Certified Diabetes Educators and coaches, we are uniquely positioned to monitor the health of our Members and provide targeted support and next-step guidance to those who may need it. By tracking blood glucose, blood pressure, and other vitals in real-time, we have a constant view of our Members and are able to reach out with Health Nudges™ and personalized coaching support. Our coaches are trained up on the CDC’s coronavirus guidelines and protocols and, where merited, will direct Members to the right care for their symptoms – whether that’s a telehealth consult or, when necessary, a hospital visit. And unlike so many people who are popping up at telehealth consults right now with no health data or history, our Members arrive with a richly detailed picture of underlying conditions to best inform their treatment.

Social and behavioral health support when it’s most needed. As the ADAA has documented, the coronavirus pandemic is causing widespread anxiety in the general public, especially among those who already struggle with health concerns. Alongside the myriad of reasonable worries fueled by news headlines and social media, social isolation can be especially hard on those of us managing additional chronic conditions. Livongo’s integrated, stepped-care model was designed to respond to this heightened need and demand by utilizing certified health coaches who are available round-the-clock and are equipped to address the effects of coronavirus on mental health. This resource is available to all of our Members living with diabetes and hypertension, two of the most vulnerable populations.

Members using the Livongo for Behavioral Health solution now have access to coronavirus and social isolation content. These specific modules include solutions to best manage stress and anxiety as well as other potential behavioral health concerns during these trying times.

This pandemic is advancing quickly and the action we take in the days and weeks ahead will be decisive for containing and mitigating its worst effects. As we arm ourselves for a potentially long battle, it is clear that consumer digital health delivered remotely and at-scale gives our Members a powerful advantage in staying healthy and current with developments during this outbreak.

Further reading

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Partnering with Kaiser Permanente to Support Mental Health Through COVID-19 and Beyond

From Dr. Julia Hoffman - 04.02.20

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The Coronavirus Stimulus -- A Step in the Right Direction

From Leslie Krigstein - 03.30.20