|Written by DPS Health|
Virtual Lifestyle Management™ Service
Renewed and Expanded by Motion Picture television Fund
For the third year, DPS Health and Motion Picture Television Fund (MPTF) are pleased to announce the one-year license renewal and program expansion of DPS Health’s Virtual Lifestyle Management™ (VLM) service. VLM provides MPTF’s Disease Management Program with a tool to provide active, eligible MPI members with a clinically-linked, internet-based, weight management service that helps overweight adults become more active, eat better, lose weight and live healthier lives.
“We used to offer on-site weight management classes that we limited to just 15 people.” said Nancy Fisher, Supervisor of Disease Management at MPTF. “But most of our member could not attend. With VLM, we have been able to help nearly 600 members and have no need to offer the classes anymore!“
Virtual Lifestyle Management service (VLM) is an online program based on the landmark Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a weight management approach developed by the University of Pittsburgh faculty under a federal research grant from the National Institutes of Health. Through web-based technology, VLM delivers the DPP research-proven lifestyle intervention, aiming to enhance the efficiency and success of healthcare provider weight management programs. To create VLM service, the University of Pittsburgh, along with DPS Health, worked to improve patient engagement through web-based learning, tracking, and motivation.
"VLM provides a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week availability of healthy eating reminders, tracking, education and support for the diet management of our very busy participants" reported Julie Booth, MS, CPHQ, RHIA, Director, Wellness Program.
In October 2008, VLM was made available to MPTF members to enhance current efforts to help members improve their health. MPTF recruited patients through their regular newsletters and a other member correspondences. MPTF’s original goal was to sign up 50 patients, however after a limited number of outreaches to their patient population, over 400 expressed interest in signing up for VLM. To date, internet-based VLM has proven to be a valuable tool for in part because of the varied work scheduled of many MPTF members, which made it very difficult to attend existing face-to-face or telephonic offerings. The VLM had helped patients adopt and sustain healthy behaviors while enabling nurses to more efficiently interact with patients.
“We are extremely encouraged by the success of the MPTF roll-out of VLM. It has shown that an organization that embraces new technology and understands their patients will see remarkable results from VLM,” said Neal Kaufman, M.D., M.P.H., founder and CEO of DPS Health. “As we move forward in our partnership, we are confident that VLM will continue to help healthcare providers better support their patients and give patients the opportunity to better manage their weight and improve their long-term health.”
Kaufman is a proven leader who has built a record of trust through local, state and national efforts to improve public health. He founded DPS Health based on a deep concern about the epidemic of weight-related illness, rising health costs and serious chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. His goal, then and now, is to help physicians address these issues and more effectively improve the health outcomes of their patients.
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About MPTV Fund
The non-profit Motion Picture & Television Fund, headquartered in Woodland Hills, Calif., was founded in 1921 to provide “relief" for those in the film industry who had fallen on hard times. Today, 85 years later, MPTF is a major service provider supporting the health and well being of the entertainment community. Healthcare, childcare, retirement living and social/charitable services are offered with compassion and respect for the dignity of the whole person. More information is available at www.mptvfund.org.
About DPS Health
DPS Health, founded in 2004, extends the practice of medicine to meet current and future health threats. The increasing impact of patient lifestyle and disease management behaviors on health outcomes and healthcare costs requires new and improved ways for clinicians to engage and motivate patients to adopt and sustain health promoting behaviors. DPS Health creates software solutions using an innovative, flexible and scalable technological platform (Behavior Change Suite™) that implements research-proven best practices of lifestyle coaching and self-management support. In one example, DPS Health worked with faculty from the University of Pittsburgh to develop the web-based Virtual Lifestyle Management (VLM) service which is based upon the Diabetes Prevention Program (also developed by the University of Pittsburgh). DPS Health is a licensee of this program for delivery through VLM service. In another example of the interventions built on the BCS platform, DPS Health has developed the Physical Activity Data Warehouse™, and the Lifecorder Online™ web applications with the Suzuken Company.
Virtual Lifestyle Management (VLM) service delivers the Diabetes Prevention Program’s (DPP) research-proven lifestyle intervention in an online format. VLM’s web-based tools and email coaching create an effective intervention for individuals who are at risk for diabetes and other health conditions because of their weight. In addition, VLM has great value for patients who have already developed diabetes/cardiovascular disease and need to improve their behavior and lifestyle as part of their clinical treatment.
The DPP, funded by the NIH, was a landmark multiyear study with 3,234 adults with pre-diabetes in 27 U.S.-based centers in which an intensive behavior change intervention was used to increased patients’ physical activity, improve nutrition and decrease weight by 5-7%. The DPP decreased the progression to diabetes by 58% (5% vs. 11% for the control) and by 71% for those individuals over 60 years old. The intervention consisted of face-to-face, one-on-one counseling sessions with a skilled coach at a cost per patient of about $3,540 over three years.
Carefully designed to mimic the research-proven approaches of the DPP, the online VLM enhances therapeutic clinician-patient relationships. The program incorporates behavioral tools such as e-mail prompts for online self-monitoring of diet, physical activity, and weight, and automated weekly progress reports. Electronic counseling provides further support. Physician referral, automated progress reports, and as-needed communication with lifestyle coaches integrate the intervention with clinical care. Accordingly, VLM allows clinicians to bring the benefits of the in-person DPP to hundreds of patients at a fraction of the personnel cost and time required of the original program.
This easy-to-use and engaging program offers lessons with streaming audio, interactive workbooks, email coaching, chat and more. The system features nutrition, physical activity and weight tracking tools that help patients overcome barriers and recognize patterns in their actions that result in lasting behavior change.
As of today, VLM has been in development and clinical testing for over three years with University of Pittsburgh faculty, with principal investigators Kathleen McTigue, M.D., M.P.H., and Rachel Hess, M.D. and support from a team of clinicians and behavioralists including Dr. Linda Siminerio, past ADA president of healthcare. In November 2009, University researchers published their one-year findings from their 50-person (1/3 with type 2 diabetes) pilot study of the effectiveness of the DPP delivered online via VLM service. The mean weight change among participants who completed the measured 12-month weight evaluation (n = 45) was -4.79 kg; 31% of these participants had at least a 5% weight loss and 18% at least a 7% weight loss at the end of one year. The study demonstrated similar outcomes to the original DPP but at a fraction of the cost and time required of the original face-to-face intervention.
VLM is being deployed in numerous settings around the United States and Canada, including Motion Picture Television Fund, Government Employees Health Association (GEHA), University of Southern California primary care practice and student health plan, McMaster University - Hamilton Health Sciences Diabetes Center, Grunberger Diabetes Institute, Hill Physician Group, Take Care, Executive Health Examinations, and others.
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