CDC Approves Mindfulness-Driven Digital Therapeutic for Diabetes Prevention

The new CDC-approved app launched January 1, 2023.

For the first time, the CDC approved an evidence-based, mindfulness-driven digital program that is focused on supporting behavioral changes for diabetes patients, according to a press release. Created by Sharecare and titled the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), the app-based program was created to manage all aspects of a patient with diabetes health in a single place.

"While other diabetes prevention programs do a fine job training participants on the basics of nutrition, exercise, and metabolism, they primarily rely on willpower to drive actual behavior change, which doesn't always work in the long term," said Jud Brewer, MD, MPH, neuroscientist, addiction psychiatrist, and chief medical officer of Sharecare, in a press release. “Taking an evidence-based, mindfulness-driven approach can enable behavior change in people for the better, for good, including those who may be pre-diabetic."

The new DPP includes the synergistic efforts of the CDC’s PreventT2 curriculum and Sharecare’s Eat Right Now program, which addresses mental and physical factors in a whole human approach to reduce habits around eating based on cravings. Brewer explains in the press release that the app is scientifically proven to reduce craving-related eating by upwards of 40%.

The DPP program is set to include:

  • Step-by-step guidance to empower and encourage users
  • More than 200 evidence-based daily behavior change video and audio lessons
  • Bite-size, easy-to-consume information
  • Multichannel coaching (digital chat-based coaching and weekly live calls)
  • A peer community facilitated by trained experts
  • Evidence-based tools to manage cravings and build skills
  • Integrated smart scale and activity tracker

When emotional and mental barriers to behavior change are addressed before a health intervention, research suggests that health interventions can be more effective, explained Jeff Arnold, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Sharecare, in the press release. Examples of emotional and mental barriers impacting behavioral change include regulating the eating behaviors that are associated with being overweight or obese, and the consequential disease risks, Arnold said in the press release.

Brewer said that “yo-yo dieting, weight regain, and shame,” can all have an impact on a patient’s physical and emotional health. The DPP was created to acknowledge these barriers and more, using research-based behavioral health models to support patients in their wellness journey.

"We are grateful to the CDC for their counsel as we customized our content to meet their stringent standards around clarity and accessibility, as well as their enthusiasm for the differentiated benefits that Sharecare's modernized, evidence-based, and compassionate approach provides, including helping people sustain long lasting behavior change and lifestyle improvements," Brewer said in the press release.

Reference

Sharecare. Sharecare's new mindfulness-driven Diabetes Prevention Program recognized and approved by CDC. News Release. January 9, 2022. Accessed on January 10, 2022.

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