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Nuno Lomba, Country Lead LIFESCAN Italy, Spain & Portugal[/caption]
One Touch Reveal, app by LIFESCAN for the control and monitoring of diabetes has passed the health product certification process of the TIC Salut Social Foundation. On the occasion of this milestone, we talk to Nuno Lomba, Country Lead LIFESCAN Italy, Spain & Portugal, about the company’s technological solution.
TICSS - Do you think it's important to obtain a quality certificate for the OneTouch Reveal® app? What benefits do you think it means to have a certificate of this kind?
NL - At Lifescan we are constantly working to create "a world without limits for people with diabetes”. Digital solutions have undoubtedly changed the paradigm of diabetes care, helping health professionals and patients to better manage it, with proven results in improving health and efficiency.
It is critical that these digital solutions are certified by accrediting bodies in all their aspects: technology, quality, content, accessibility, usability, security, privacy, etc.
Obtaining accreditation from a prestigious entity such as the TIC Salut Social Foundation, is a guarantee of security and confidence for the Health System, for professionals and patients.
TICSS - Do you think that there is widespread interest in obtaining this type of certification?
NL - I think that, in general, interest is growing and more so now, in situations like the one we are currently experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic, where there is a restriction on face-to-face access for patients to medical consultations and we must ensure that the use of digital tools meets all necessary requirements.
For our part, we have been interested in this from the outset and we believe that Health Authorities and professionals should demand this accreditation, before using or prescribing an App for to monitor and control diseases.
TICSS - Do you have any other certification for the OneTouch Reveal® app at the regional or European level?
NL- We also have the "Healthy App" certification issued by the "Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality". Also, the magazine ENDO has published a study evaluating the free mobile applications (Apps) available for the treatment of diabetes on the market, in which OneTouch Reveal® was ranked top, having obtained the maximum score.
In addition, the OneTouch Reveal® App has won numerous awards at the national level:
-Best digital initiative (Correu Farmacèutic 2016)
-Best App for Healthcare Professionals (eHealth Awards 2017)
-Best telemedicine initiative (eHealth Awards 2017)
-Best Mobile App (OMExpo Digital Awards 2017)
-Award for “Innovation and Application Technology for people with diabetes” (La Razón “A la teva Salut” Awards, 2018).
Additionally, there are several scientific publications that have shown that using our App helps people with diabetes to improve their health outcomes.
At the international level we obviously have all the safety certificates required to process, store and transfer sensitive data, awarded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and by European regulatory bodies.
TICSS - What was your experience of the TIC Salut Social Foundation app certification process? Do you think the process is demanding or by contrast easy to pass?
NL - The truth is that it has been an exciting challenge; seeing the whole team involved and motivated to then find out that our OneTouch Reveal® App is the first diabetes management app to be accredited by the TIC Salut Social Foundation. It has been a really rewarding experience for everyone; the involvement of our developers, of the whole R&D team, who have understood the sense of urgency and importance and have worked in a very agile and coordinated manner.
As for the required standards, since LIFESCAN is a large multinational, it is difficult to adapt an app to the specific requirements of a single country, but, as I said before, teamwork has helped us achieve it in record time.
TICSS - What experiences or aspects would you highlight during the accreditation process?
NL - The accreditation process has undoubtedly helped us to analyse our App in depth, to collaborate with our developers and above all, based on the requirements of the TIC Salut Social Foundation, to implement some adaptations to be able meet its specific needs. The collaboration of the TIC Salut Social Foundation with LIFESCAN has been exemplary at all times and this helps a lot when it comes to working together.
TICSS - Do you think its beneficial for patients to have this type of app to help manage their daily insulin process? What aspects would you say are most significant in ensuring the patient has a better control of their diabetes?
NL -Without a doubt, not only do we believe it helps and is beneficial, but we also have clinical evidence that proves this. For patients to have a better control of their diabetes, first of all, it is necessary to educate and empower them and provide them with constant support from the health team.
LIFESCAN, to facilitate this task, creates complete solutions for people with diabetes, where the App is part of a large digital ecosystem, and is the perfect complement to other solutions.
We were innovative and pioneering in 2011 when we included algorithms in our blood glucose meters that were capable of identifying glycaemic patterns: PatternAlert® technology that helped patients and healthcare professionals discover the causes of abnormal results and make precise changes to the treatment. LIFESCAN was the first company to incorporate a colour indicator into the glucose result: ColourSureTM Technology, which facilitates patient understanding of outcomes and this has been scientifically proven to help improve glycaemic control.
We have recently introduced a new innovation with a new glucose meter, Verio Reflect®, which includes an exclusive Glucose Mentor. This shows onscreen message based on the glucose results, providing patients with Orientation, Information and Motivation; and on this base, we have consolidated our Digital OneTouch Reveal® ecosystem which, in addition to including the elements mentioned above, allows healthcare professionals and/or caregivers to be connected in real time to the patient.
TICSS - OneTouch Reveal® is an international app, so it has had to be adapted in many languages and to the different needs of each country. What aspects of the app have had to be adapted in each territory? Do you think that unifying accreditation criteria at a cross-border level would help in this regard?
NL - With our local experience, we understand that at least at the European level the accreditation criteria should be standardized. Most of the providers in this regard are transnational companies and since the security requirements for the handling of sensitive data should be universal, the establishment of a European certification which is equivalent across all member states would certainly be of great help.
TICSS - One of the features most appreciated by users and healthcare professionals is the possibility of gathering together the readings from recent weeks in report and being able to check it or send it in PDF, thus facilitating the exchange of information between both parties. Can you let us know if you have any updates planned in this regard?
NL - Our system is currently more advanced than that. As we said before, the OneTouch Reveal® Mobile App is part of a Digital Ecosystem made up of the Mobile App, a Web App for patients and a Web App for healthcare professionals. Therefore, the patient, as well as being able to generate a PDF report and share it with their doctor, nurse or caregiver, can also connect via a unique code to their healthcare centre. Once this connection is approved by the doctor/nurse and the patient themself, as soon as a glucose check is performed with their meter, the result will be automatically transferred to the mobile phone via Bluetooth and the results will be sent to the cloud. In this way, the healthcare professional can see their patients’ data in real time, speeding up access to the data. Another clear example of ecosystem connectivity is the ability for family members to track patient outcomes; for example; a son or daughter can track the data of their octogenarian mother who simply has to carry out the analysis herself and ensure her mobile phone is nearby. The data will automatically be uploaded to the cloud and her son or daughter will be able to view it instantly.
TICSS - Another feature that helps a great deal in monitoring is the display of daily results throughout the app in 3 colours.What feedback did you get from the user experience point of view of this implementation?
NL - ColourSure™ Technology has been and is one of our main tools in helping people with diabetes to control their disease. LIFESCAN was the first company to incorporate this innovation in OneTouch® meters in 2013. We recently perfected this solution with our OneTouch® Verio Reflect® Glucose Mentor, incorporating the new dynamic colour indicator or ColourSure Plus® where in addition to seeing if the patient is within the appropriate range, above or below the target, it can also help to understand if a result, while still within range, is approaching the upper or lower limit, and therefore take steps to prevent this red result, in the case of hyperglycaemia, and especially the emergency blue result, in the case of hypoglycaemia.
The OneTouch Reveal® App is exactly the same: the patient or healthcare professional can quickly identify any individual glycaemic result or a pattern of results, with the colours of the ColourSure™ technology.
The use of colour for glycaemic results is widely validated in clinical studies which show a link between the use of a colour-coded glucometer and improvements in haemoglobin A1c, compared with meters that are not colour-coded.
TICSS - Finally, there is another feature in the application that provides added value: the detection of patterns. How do professionals and patients value this functionality?
NL - LIFESCAN pioneered in 2011 the launch of the PatternAlert® pattern detection system in a glucose meter. Subsequently, we have incorporated this detection system into all our solutions, from our OneTouch Reveal® digital ecosystem, where the system is able to identify more than 30 different patterns to, recently, our new OneTouch® Verio Reflect® Glucose Mentor which can do the same and help the patient with personalized Orientation, Information and Motivation messages. In the case of the App, we were also pioneers in incorporating it in 2016 and also in applying ColourSure™ technology, so that the patient can quickly identify whether a pattern has been generated by abnormally high or low results. It also enables the identification of recurring patterns (repeated patterns) leading to a quick question for the patient together with self-directed questions which enables the patients themselves to distinguish between the possible cause of these patterns.
In addition, the App is able to automatically read data from external sources such as Apple Health or Google Fit, including the number of steps or amount of daily exercise, and the system, depending on the patient’s goals, will award "recognition"; this type of gaming helps motivate users of the App.
Our purpose is to provide "value" for patients, professionals and healthcare systems, and not just products. LIFESCAN is strongly committed to contributing its solutions to the digital transformation of diabetes care.