Diabetes has become a global epidemic, with the number of adults living with the disease quadrupling since 1980 and the spend on diabetes tripling in the last ten years. Unless changes are made, the rest of the US could be facing similar figures by 2050. This calls for action to alter the very foundation of the country's health system.
In the US, minority and underserved populations bear the greatest burden of the disease. South Texas is a pointed example of a region with such burdens, compounded further by poverty, a lack of health access, low health literacy, and a shortage of doctors. The result is what the media has dubbed ‘Diabetesville’, a community with an elevated incidence of diabetes and obesity. An estimated 28% of the population are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and nearly another one-third are at risk of developing the disease.
In South Texas, where many patients face significant barriers to obtaining quality care, PwC US is working with the University of Texas System to bring care to the consumer.
To connect the patient to their care team, PwC deployed the DoubleJump™ Interchange - a business collaboration platform that securely brokers cooperation among healthcare participants. The result is a consumer health ecosystem that connects clinics, pharmacies, retailers, and nonprofits, with technologies like remote monitoring tools and cognitive analytical applications that synthesise vast amounts of information to guide clinical and behavioural treatment decisions.
PwC sits in the middle - facilitating cross-enterprise operations to enable the expanded care team to make better decisions for the patient, when and where needed.
This novel care delivery approach has the potential to significantly reduce the burden of chronic disease in Texas and serve as a model to manage health spend and improve the lives of vulnerable populations across the globe. In South Texas, the programme is already demonstrating early results, including raising the health literacy of people that did not know they were at risk for chronic diseases, lowering the glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) of patients with diabetes, and reducing hospital/ER readmissions for the high utilisers.
“We’re breaking down barriers among traditional healthcare stakeholders and new entrants to allow better collaboration and enable solutions for diabetes.”