Virta Health platform uses personalized medicine to combat diabetes

Patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) juggle many factors associated with the chronic disease. From monitoring glucose levels, medications and weight, individuals with T2D face plenty of obstacles.

Virta Health has made a primary goal to fight T2D by offering personalized care plans. Virta Health’s platform is a highly personalized and can be adjusted for future care via an online tool for T2D patients. It includes nutritional and behavioral counseling, digital coaching, educational materials and physician-led medication management. These aspects form a single platform to help patients maintain carbohydrate restriction to reach nutritional ketosis, therefore controlling blood sugar to eliminate the need for medications and achieve healthy weight loss.

A recent study showed that in 10 weeks T2D patients can take control of their health, significantly reducing symptoms.

“Until now, the only clinically proven way to reverse diabetes was bariatric surgery. For the first time, people with T2D have an alternative to surgery, which is risky, costly and not covered for most people, and also to ongoing management with medications like insulin,” said Sami Inkinen, co-founder and CEO of Virta Health. “Our mission is to reverse diabetes in 100 million people by 2025. It’s an ambitious goal, but we’re motivated everyday by the lives we’ve already changed.”

The study included 238 T2D patients who completed the first 10 weeks of the study. These patients were either put in the control group or enrolled in Virta Health’s personalized health program. A mobile app made daily recordings of body weight and blood sugar levels.

Results included:

  • 87 percent of patients reduced the amount of insulin taken or eliminated use altogether.
  • 56 percent of patients reduced their blood sugar levels to below a diabetic level.
  • In 10 weeks, patients lost 7 percent of their body weight, with 71 percent experiencing significant weight loss after six months.

“In conclusion, we demonstrated for the first time that biomarkers of T2D can be reversed in a substantial fraction of participants using a comprehensive digitally delivered intervention, including medical management by physicians, health coaching, nutrition education emphasizing individualized carbohydrate intake to induce nutritional ketosis, behavioral support, biometric feedback, and peer support,” wrote Amy McKenzie, PhD, lead author on the study, and colleagues.