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Even before the pandemic drove an extreme shift toward telemedicine, diabetes care was leading the march toward digital care. A crop of health care companies including Onduo, One Drop, Lark Health, Omada, Livongo, and Virta Health have built businesses on the idea that virtual coaching and remote monitoring can help people with diabetes keep their glucose levels in healthier ranges. Next year, estimates suggest the market for digital diabetes care will exceed $700 million.

Those companies assure their customers — insurance providers, health plans, self-insured employers, and patients themselves — that their programs are cheaper than the health complications they help patients avoid. But not everybody is so sure.


Speaking to a remote crowd of endocrinologists and diabetes experts on Saturday at the virtually held American Diabetes Association annual meeting, physicians Anne Peters and Kasia Lipska came to debate a question with real consequences for patients, providers, and payers: Are these digital coaching approaches worth their price tag?

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