Welldoc Receives Approval for BlueStar - mHealth, prescribed with reimbursement, and in your car!

by Daniel Ruppar 02 Aug 2013
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Source: Digital Health Summer Summit 2013, Welldoc, BlueStar, June 13-14, 2013

As the sister event to the Digital Health Summit (DHSS13) at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January, the Summer Summit is a premier, intimate, and unique forum devoted to the business of digital health. At this year’s event, Welldoc announced the approval of BlueStar, the first mHealth application that can be prescribed,
with reimbursement.

The Analyst’s Perspective by Daniel Ruppar, Research Director for Connected Health, Global 

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One unintentional theme of DHSS13 was centric to Welldoc, starting with the opening keynote by Welldoc President and COO, Dr. Anand Iyer. An important point discussed at the conference was that it happened to coincide with the announcement of BlueStar, a new Welldoc mHealth product, which is both prescribed and reimbursable as part of diabetes therapy. BlueStar provides support for diabetes patients in terms of motivational and behavioral coaching, as well as aspects including smart glucose blood testing and adherence support. It is FDA-cleared for adults with Type 2 diabetes and is directly accessible across form factor platforms, including one most companies are not able to tout—a Ford car.

As the first prescribed, reimbursed mHealth applications, this is a positive step in mobile health (mHealth) and a key highlight in the area in the first half of 2013. As we seek to expand reimbursement for mHealth solutions and other offerings focused on remote medical care, these wins can be leveraged by other developers pursuing the same goal. There is still a long road to go in drawing consumers out of the mindset that healthcare and everything related is an entitlement. A push from self-insured employers can help increase the threshold for this in the United States and set a good precedent for national reimbursement for specific applications. We cannot rely on leadership from Congress or the FDA for the necessary policies needed to push the digital health space forward.

WellDoc’s leadership and creative approach in progressing digital health is a hopeful example for the industry.

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