UnitedHealth Group Inc. : UnitedHealth Group and Comcast Diabetes Prevention Program Video-on-Demand Pilot Study Delivers Initial Results
05/15/2012| 08:05am US/Eastern
Response suggests great potential for use of programs to fight
Study evaluates effectiveness of delivering proven clinical
program through on-demand reality TV show format
Group (NYSE: UNH) and Comcast
Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) announced they have met
enrollment targets for an innovative pilot study to evaluate the
effectiveness of using video on demand (VOD) to deliver the Diabetes
Prevention Program (DPP). This response suggests great promise that
in-home delivery of this program will be able to attract interest among
individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Enrollment reached full capacity - 310 people - within just one month of
the study launch in the Philadelphia and Knoxville, Tenn., test markets.
Study participants have access to television episodes presented as new
VOD programming on Comcast's Xfinity® On Demand platform.
"Making the Diabetes Prevention Program available in people's homes
through video on demand will make the program more broadly available in
a convenient and cost-effective way," said Deneen Vojta, M.D., senior
vice president, UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization.
"Our goal is to expand the reach of this proven program to more people
in need of help and still deliver meaningful results."
In addition to meeting enrollment objectives, the study found that the
310 study participants have begun reporting positive feedback and full
engagement with the program. The VOD programming aims to reduce the risk
of developing type 2 diabetes through healthy eating, increased physical
activity and other lifestyle changes. It is modeled on the DPP, an
evidence-based lifestyle change program developed from the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Diabetes Prevention
"We are pleased to be working with UnitedHealth Group to help raise
awareness about this devastating disease and deliver this proven program
in an innovative way using our Xfinity On Demand platform," said Mark
Coblitz, senior vice president of Strategic Planning for Comcast. "Our
VOD service has fundamentally changed the way people watch television by
giving them TV when they want, where they want. We think this platform
has great potential to deliver health education on consumers' terms."
Bringing a Proven Program Home
The Diabetes Prevention Program is an innovative lifestyle change
program conducted in a group setting that helps people with prediabetes
and who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes prevent or delay
the disease through healthy eating, increased physical activity and
other lifestyle changes. It is a year-long program with 16 weekly
sessions and then monthly follow-up. It is part of the National Diabetes
Prevention Program led by the CDC.
UnitedHealth Group, in partnership with the Y and CDC, has been helping
the lifestyle change program achieve national scale through the "NOT ME"®
program from the Diabetes
Prevention and Control Alliance, an employer- and community-based
initiative aimed at tipping the scales against type 2 diabetes,
prediabetes and obesity.
The new VOD study was designed by Ronald T. Ackermann, M.D., MPH,
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who conducted the
original Diabetes Prevention Program translational pilot and is
considered a national expert in the prevention and control of common
"Delivering the Diabetes Prevention Program at local Y branches reduced
program costs to roughly one-eighth the amount of the traditional
Diabetes Prevention Program intervention, while achieving striking
results," said Dr. Ackermann. "Bringing the program into people's homes
through video on demand holds the promise to make this clinically proven
prevention program even more accessible and cost-effective."
The 16-episode NOT
ME VOD programming uses a reality TV format that follows six adults
who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes (a condition known
as prediabetes) as they go through the Diabetes Prevention Program. Each
VOD episode features a health and wellness coach leading a class of
program participants who are working to reach a healthier weight and
reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Between each episode,
study participants practice at home the skills they learn from the
program. Study participants also are given tracking assignments each
week and opportunities to put what they learn into action. The goal for
participants in the group lifestyle change program is to lose 5-7
percent of their body weight, which has been proven to reduce the risk
of developing type 2 diabetes by more than half.
The six individuals featured in the reality TV programming lost an
average of 8.1 percent of their body weight during the 16-week program,
a total of 122 pounds.
The 310 VOD study participants have an average BMI of 35.6, with 19
percent of the group overweight (with a BMI between 25 and 29) and 81
percent in the category of obese (BMI of 30 or higher). Initial study
results are expected to be available in September. Upon completion of
the study, UnitedHealth Group and Comcast will evaluate making the
Diabetes Prevention Program available on the Xfinity On Demand platform
in additional communities across the country. According to the CDC, more
than one third (35.7%) of U.S. adults are obese.
Comcast helped create awareness about the VOD pilot through a series of
television public service announcements (PSAs) in Philadelphia and
Knoxville. Among the 310 participants, more than half reported learning
about the study through the media, including newspaper articles as well
as the PSAs, showing the effectiveness of direct-to-consumer outreach.
Another 32 percent of the participants reported being referred to the
study by their employers.
Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, and another 79 million
American adults are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to
the CDC. Diabetes cost the country an estimated $206 billion in 2011. If
current trends continue, more than half of all Americans will have
diabetes or prediabetes at an annual cost of $512 billion by 2021,
according to the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization.
About Comcast Corporation
Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com)
is one of the world's leading media, entertainment and communications
companies. Comcast is principally involved in the operation of cable
systems through Comcast Cable and in the development, production and
distribution of entertainment, news, sports and other content for global
audiences through NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation's
largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential
and business customers. Comcast is the majority owner and manager of
NBCUniversal, which owns and operates entertainment and news cable
networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, local television
station groups, television production operations, a major motion picture
company and theme parks.
About UnitedHealth Group
Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company
dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care
work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group
offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct
platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and
benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and
technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth
Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide. Visit www.unitedhealthgroup.com
for more information.
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