Sugar Smart For Life Named “Promising Practice” By Healthy Communities Institute
MIAMI, FL, May 3, 2018 – The Sugar Smart for Life program — a collaborative, technology-based diabetes prevention program by West Kendall Baptist Hospital and LifeWallet (LifeWallet.com) — has been named a “Promising Practice” by the prestigious Healthy Communities Institute, which provides a national database of more than 2,200 practices that improve community health and quality of life.
Along with the “Promising Practice” designation, the Sugar Smart for Life program is featured as a best practice on the Health Council of South Florida’s Miami Matters website, a dynamic site that provides health, environmental and other quality of life indicators for Miami-Dade County residents. According to the website, “… this technology-based intervention is well-received by patients at high risk for developing diabetes in terms of satisfaction, delivering appropriate health education and supporting and encouraging positive health behavior changes.”
Sugar Smart for Life is the first lifestyle intervention program launched from the Healthy Hub, a free, one-stop screening and referral-to-care kiosk located at West Kendall Baptist Hospital. Powered by the product suite at LifeWallet, a healthcare technology company at the forefront of diabetes prevention, the Healthy Hub generates a visitor’s health score from biometric information gathered by a nurse. Visitors who are at high-risk for diabetes are eligible to participate in the six-month Sugar Smart for Life program, which includes individual wellness plans that provide guidance on diet, exercise and glucose monitoring.
“Now more than ever, healthcare providers are challenged to find ways to help patients — and their entire community — get and stay healthy,” said Javier Hernandez-Lichtl, chief executive officer at West Kendall Baptist Hospital. “This program enables our team to scale health impacts from our programs across the West Kendall community.”
Norberto Menendez, founder of LifeWallet, said, “Being named a ‘Promising Practice’ highlights the role technology like ours can play in the fight against diabetes as well as other chronic diseases. The Sugar Smart for Life program shows that technology can foster the level of patient engagement needed to combat costly, chronic diseases and have a tremendous impact on health outcomes.”
In the initial Sugar Smart for Life program, participants between the ages of 25 and 77 recorded and monitored their progress by connecting digital wearables and Bluetooth-connected devices to LifeWallet’s popular HealthBook app. The app, says Evangelist Edwin Rivera of LifeWallet, is more than a simple data collection point; it is a motivational and engagement tool that gets people actively involved in their own healthcare and guides them through the steps necessary to accomplish their goals. The Healthy Hub team monitored participants using Engage, LifeWallet’s remote monitoring platform. The wearable’s connectivity proved popular with program participants, with more than half using the app daily. Of those who completed the program, more than 80 percent rated the app either four or five stars and 90 percent “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the app is likely to increase their motivation to address prediabetes.
Michelle Mejia, assistant vice president of Health Promotion Strategic Partnerships at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says Sugar Smart for Life goes beyond simply educating patients about the state of their health. “Sugar Smart for Life goes beyond simply educating patients about the state of their health,” she said. “We are empowering people to act on their health information using a combination approach of high touch and high tech. “By combining information, engagement and accountability, we are shaping a path for better health. It’s a powerful solution made possible through our partnership with LifeWallet.”
The 18 participants who completed the program walked a total of 6,313,843 steps, a daily average of 1,948 steps per person, and logged 284,960 total minutes of activity, a daily average of 88 minutes per person. The group’s average A1c dropped from 6.0 to 5.8, a 3.3 percent reduction. Using estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these improvements translate to an annual healthcare cost savings of $163,129, or $9,063 per participant.
“The drop in the group’s A1c is substantial,” said Rivera. “Getting people actively involved in their own healthcare is vital in the battle against type 2 diabetes, which costs Americans $322 billion dollars a year. Engagement combined with a great clinical partner like West Kendall Baptist Hospital are the keys to success.”
About West Kendall Baptist Hospital
West Kendall Baptist Hospital is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest healthcare organization in the region, with ten hospitals (Baptist Hospital, Baptist Children’s Hospital, Bethesda Hospital East, Bethesda Hospital West, Doctors Hospital, Fishermen’s Community Hospital, Homestead Hospital, Mariners Hospital, South Miami Hospital and West Kendall Baptist Hospital), more than 40 physician practices, 50 outpatient and urgent care facilities, Baptist Health Medical Group, Baptist Health Quality Network and internationally renowned centers of excellence spanning across Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to our faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has approximately 18,500 employees and more than 3,000 affiliated physicians. Baptist Health South Florida has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit BaptistHealth.net/newsroom and connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/BaptistHealthSF and on Twitter and Instagram @BaptistHealthSF.
LifeWallet, which is transforming the healthcare delivery model by connecting patients and care providers to assess and manage chronic conditions, is one of the country’s leading healthcare technology companies. Comprised of a dedicated and experienced team of software developers, including several former Apple developers, LifeWallet’s user-friendly apps and platform empower people and communities to gain control of their health by integrating wearables, apps and medical devices with wellness plans with remote monitoring.
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