- An analysis by UnitedHealth Group has linked the use of continuous glucose monitors to drops in blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes, providing a datapoint to support expansion of the technology into a larger patient population.
- UnitedHealth Group performed the retrospective and observational analysis using data from Level2, a virtual specialty clinic that offers devices such as CGMs and fitness trackers to people with Type 2 diabetes. Two-thirds of patients with an initial A1c of 7% to 9% experienced a 0.5% decline after joining Level2 and using a CGM.
- Analysts at J.P. Morgan called the results “impressive,” noting that they suggest CGMs could have “a big economic benefit” and become part of the resources available to Type 2 diabetes patients over time.
People with Type 1 diabetes currently are the primary users of CGMs, while Abbott and Dexcom are working to grow their share of the larger Type 2 market. Abbott used the American Diabetes Association’s 82nd Scientific Sessions to share data on the use of FreeStyle Libre in non-insulin using Type 2 patients and Dexcom has called the population as a “tremendous market opportunity”.
UnitedHealth researchers presented data at the ADA on glycemic outcomes in new entrants to its Level2 program. The healthcare company set up the program in 2020 to give patients non-pharmacological tools to manage their conditions.
To assess the impact of Level2, UnitedHealth retrospectively reviewed data on 9,137 individuals who joined the program in the first seven months of last year and had at least 12 prior months of continuous enrollment in a participating commercial health plan. Two-thirds of the participants wore a CGM at least once.
UnitedHealth drilled down into a subset of patients who had A1c values available for the three months before starting Level2 and “sufficient CGM data” at week 12 or week 24. In that subpopulation, 63% to 67% of patients with an initial A1c of 7% to 9% experienced a 0.5% or greater improvement after joining Level2. Almost all, 94% to 97%, of patients with an A1c of above 9% had at least a 0.5% improvement.
The program offers Dexcom G6 CGMs as part of a package that includes coaching. Analysts at J.P. Morgan said they see the results as evidence that CGMs have a role to play in support packages for people with Type 2 diabetes.
“This is the first data from the program that we are aware of since it was launched in 2020, and quite frankly, is impressive,” the analysts wrote in a note to investors. “We view the results favorably in light of the fact that CGMs were used in conjunction with virtual consultations, personalized clinical coaching and Fitbits, confirming the reality that type 2 noninsulin using patients have various resources to leverage, with a CGM offering the potential to be one of these over time.”