Startups, Telemedicine, Health Tech

Omada adds virtual consultations to help members manage chronic conditions

Digital health startup Omada is adding virtual consultations with physicians to its platform. To start, the company is offering physician-guided care for diabetes and hypertension. 

Omada is offering chat-based virtual consultations to members in its programs for diabetes and hypertension management. Photo credit: Omada

As more competitors build out their own digital health platforms to address a wide spectrum of conditions, Omada Health adding to its own.  

The San Francisco-based startup is adding chat-based consults with physicians to its platform, through text-based telehealth platform CirrusMD. To start, Omada plans to offer this to patients in its diabetes and hypertension programs.

Physicians could order prescriptions, look at patients’ labs and and help manage their medications. Verily’s digital health platform, Onduo, and Livongo, through its merger with Teladoc, also offer telehealth visits. 

Starting next year, Omada plans to add physician consults to its programs for pre-diabetes and weight management, behavioral health, and musculoskeletal care.

It would build on Omada’s current platform, which pulls data from connected devices, such as continuous glucose monitors, and includes health coaching and peer support.

Once started as a virtual diabetes prevention program, the company now offers app-based tools for managing diabetes, hypertension, musculoskeletal pain and behavioral health. 

So far, the Omada’s approach to managing multiple chronic conditions seems to be resonating with employers. The company has seen a 200% increase in multi-program deals, with employers offering multiple programs as a  covered benefit, said Jennifer La Guardia, Omada’s director of clinical product and behavior science, in a Tuesday press briefing. 

After Omada’s acquisition of digital physical therapy startup Physera last year, the company also has additional plans to build on that platform, using computer vision technology to give more insight on how patients are performing their exercises. 

“We’re always open to either building, or as we did with Physera, acquiring,” Co-Founder and CEO Sean Duffy said. “What we saw in Physera was a perfect complement to Omada’s belief system which was that you have to augment the care professionals with technology, not replace. … That has to be true in any M&A and that was true here.”