UnitedHealth Group has launched Level2, an innovative new digital therapy that combines wearable technology and customized personal support to help improve the health of people living with type 2 diabetes. The combination of Level2’s real-time glucose monitoring, lifestyle changes and one-on-one coaching helped some people stabilize blood sugar levels and flag potential COVID-19 infections.
Diabetes is becoming more common in the United States, with more than 34 million people currently living with this condition.1 Level2 helps participants gain real-time insights about their condition and, for some, successfully reduce spikes in blood sugar levels or even achieve type 2 diabetes remission. Additionally, Level2 is currently available at no additional cost to more than 230,000 employer-sponsored, fully insured UnitedHealthcare members, and will be available to select employers with self-funded plans later this year.
Eligible participants who use Level2 receive integrated tools, including a mobile continuous glucose monitor (CGM), activity tracker, app-based alerts and one-on-one clinical coaching to help encourage healthier lifestyle decisions, such as food choices, exercise and sleep patterns. In the future, UnitedHealth Group may offer the Level2 model to support people with other chronic conditions beyond type 2 diabetes.
Helping Americans Treat Type 2 Diabetes
How Level2 Helped One Patient Treat COVID-19 and Diabetes
After Jon Alger returned home to Florida from vacation in New York City during early March, he started showing symptoms of the flu — sore throat, fever and headache. He felt really sick for two weeks, and eventually tested positive for COVID-19.
Jon had the added worry of his pre-existing condition, type 2 diabetes, which is a risk factor for COVID-19 complications. The symptoms of COVID-19 also made it more difficult to manage his diabetes, sapping his strength to stay active and eat regularly.
“I felt awful, had no appetite and had severe fatigue like nothing I had ever experienced before,” Jon said. “I lost 15 pounds.”
Jon struggled with a severe cough that made it difficult to catch his breath. He worked to get through it while also trying to manage his diabetes, but didn’t start feeling better until the end of March. Jon’s recovery was aided by Level2™, a digital health therapy designed to help people with type 2 diabetes more effectively manage the condition and even help move it into remission.
Level2 uses mobile continuous glucose monitors (CGM) and shares that data with health professionals, including personal program coaches and physicians. This real-time data stream helps identify and coordinate care for patients with elevated blood glucose levels, allowing for earlier interventions.
“The CGM was instrumental,” Jon said. “Since I was not eating well, my readings continuously ran low and that feedback helped encourage me to eat something, even when I had no desire for any food.”
Jon remembers one time when his CGM indicated he should eat something, so he warmed up a bowl of tomato soup. However, after finishing it, his glucose numbers spiked. This confused him because he thought he’d made a healthy choice.
Jon’s Level2 coach explained that the tomato soup spiked his blood sugar levels because it’s high in added sugars and carbs. Knowing it’s a comfort food for him, she found a way to fit the soup into his get-well plan by suggesting the addition of frozen vegetables to increase the overall fiber. This helps slow the absorption of carbs into the blood stream.
Tips from Jon’s program coach and the CGM helped him take better control of his blood sugar levels and fight off COVID-19. Now that he’s recovered, he’s finding creative ways to add in exercise. Best of all, his A1C, a hemoglobin that measures blood sugar levels, is down to 6.1 and it’s never been lower for him.