HEALTH

New app offers diabetics meal planning tips

BY Allison Cerra

WALTHAM, Mass. — Quantia has partnered with dietitian and diabetes educator Hope Warshaw to develop EatSmart, a mobile diabetes application.

EatSmart, currently a free download available for the iPhone, Android, smartphones, tablets and the Web, is an app that provides those affected by or at risk for Type 2 diabetes with simple meal planning tips and tricks.

“EatSmart is a major breakthrough application that takes my voice, passion and step-by-step practical approach to helping people transition their eating habits and makes them available to people across the country,” Warshaw said. “EatSmart extends the delivery of diabetes meal planning information beyond the exam room and diabetes education programs and puts the knowledge literally into the persons’ or care providers’ hands to access when and where they need it and to reinforce information and support essential behavior change.”

For more information, visit Eatsmart.quantiacare.com.

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HEALTH

Research analyzes impact of REMS programs across healthcare supply chain

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research, the research foundation of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association, on Tuesday released “Assessing the Impact of Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) Requirements on the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain,” the first comprehensive research study analyzing the impact of REMS programs across the healthcare supply chain.

The Food and Drug Administration is authorized to require an REMS program to mitigate risks associated with certain medications. These programs outline the steps a drug manufacturer must take to enhance a medication’s safe use, and may require up to four distinct components, ranging from a medication guide; a communication plan to educate healthcare professionals; elements to assure safe use (ETASU), such as training, certification or patient registry programs; and systems to implement the ETASU. All REMS require a timetable for submission of assessments to the FDA. One other element that all REMS programs have in common is that they affect all stakeholders across the supply chain.

Produced in collaboration with Campbell Alliance Group, the study outlined the current REMS landscape, evaluated the impact of these requirements on key supply chain stakeholders and challenges the industry faces, examined economic considerations, assessed two program case studies and highlighted opportunities for future program enhancements. Research was based on primary and secondary sources, including interviews with 45 industry stakeholders from across the supply chain: manufacturers, distributors and providers.

In its analysis, the Center and Campbell Alliance found that cross-industry collaboration, communication and uniformity are essential to successfully implement the still-evolving REMS initiative. Specifically, it noted that the industry can benefit by acknowledging their trading partners’ capabilities and limitations, as well as the challenges they may face.

“As today’s healthcare system faces the dual challenge to improve efficiency and patient care, our research defines the critical issues we all face in meeting the REMS requirements for specific medicines on the frontier of development,” stated Karen Ribler, EVP and COO of the Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research. “It draws from experience and rigorous analysis showing how industrywide strategies can enable and speed the use of specialized medicines to treat serious diseases.”

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HEALTH

HealthyWage gears up for weight-loss contest in Houston

BY Michael Johnsen

HOUSTON — HealthyWage, an online network that pays members who improve their health, on Tuesday announced registration now is under way for its "Houston Matchup" competition — a citywide weight-loss contest that will reward top-performing teams with a total of $18,000 in cash prizes.

"’The Houston Matchup’ brings the city together in a collective effort to achieve weight-loss and health goals through a fun and lucrative contest," stated HealthyWage co-founder David Roddenberry. "Competing in teams of five against family, friends and co-workers for added encouragement, bragging rights and big cash prizes, this initiative leverages our social network model proven to help motivate and sustain weight loss,” he said.

“Academic research shows that obesity has spread through social networks and will likely reverse through social networks. Houston resident and Chevron employee ‘Sharon,’ who recently won $1,000 from HealthyWage for her 64-lb. weight-loss accomplishment, is proof positive this approach works." (View Sharon’s success story here.)

"With nearly one-quarter of all Texas adults reported to be obese and far more classified as overweight, coupled with Texas’ estimated annual medical cost of obesity ringing in at nearly $5.5 billion, we hope this initiative will provide an extra dose of motivation to effect positive change for the region," Roddenberry noted.

Throughout "The Houston Matchup," teams of five will compete for the greatest percentage of weight lost from May 13 through Aug. 12. Each participant pays a $60 registration fee and weighs in at the beginning and end of the contest at a local health club.

The winning teams will receive a total of $18,000 in cash prizes ($10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second and $3,000 for third). In addition, participants qualify for $100 cash if they start with a body mass index above 30 and achieve a BMI below 25 after one year.

In addition to those participating at an individual level, large employers also will join in "The Houston Matchup" in a "company vs. company" or "school vs. school" division, where they compete against other organizations throughout the state in an attempt to have their employees lose the most weight. Dozens of local companies are participating in the contest, including Pride International, Wison Floating Systems and Tesco.

"Participants in previous financial compensation-based HealthyWage team contests have lost on average 5% of their body weight," Roddenberry said. "While our company pays all Houston residents $100 to lose weight as a standard part of our program, we’ve found that the free $100 cash incentive is more effective at motivating weight loss when coupled with a contest to build excitement and peer support in working toward weight-loss goals."

For more information visit Healthywage.com/houston-matchup.

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