eHealth giant Cerner has announced a multi-year agreement with Livongo Health™ to connect diabetes screening data collected from smart consumer devices with Cerner healthcare clients.

The partnership aims to decrease healthcare costs by helping patients and providers proactively manage diabetes. Diabetics would be able to improve their self-management and make better use of medical consultations, while clinicians would be provided with real-time patient information, enabling quick interventions for patient care.

Globally there are 366 million people who have diabetes, of which 3.5 million are in South Africa (about 6% of the population). The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) predicts the global number to rise to 552 million by 2030, with the greatest expected increase to take place in Africa.

While the traditional diabetes care model relies on in-clinic monitoring and direct physician interaction, the Livongo device remotely transmits the information to a smart cloud for analysis. Actionable information is then quickly returned to the individual and members of their care team.

Patients use Livongo’s cellular-enabled blood glucose meter to measure their blood glucose levels, which are then automatically sent to the individuals they’ve designated, including physicians, family members and care coordinators. The device also passively collects information on activity and records behavioural information. Once the information is shared, that person’s care team can provide support if values are outside of their normal range.

“We are excited to be working with Cerner,” said CEO of Livongo Health, Glen Tullman. “This relationship enables us to rapidly deploy the latest innovative technology globally, making a difference in the lives of people with diabetes while at the same time helping to address the cost of treatment that all too often limits care. The combination of Cerner’s architecture with Livongo’s real-time diabetes ecosystem finally offers the ability for healthcare organisations to cost-effectively and efficiently extend care for chronic conditions beyond the four walls of the hospital.”

Livongo is one of many organisations to use Cerner’s CareAware approach to device connectivity outside the clinical setting, a component of Cerner’s vision to centralise the focus of care around the patient rather than the provider.

“This is the right programme at the right time to empower our clients and their patients with the real-time information they need to help effectively manage and improve their health,” said President of Cerner, Zane Burke. “It fits perfectly with our vision for population health, which is to provide clarity to millions of data points in an actionable and timely way to improve health and care outcomes across the population.

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