Canary Health's Exclusive Online Workshop for Individuals With Diabetes Also Reduces Hypoglycemic Symptoms, Improves Medication-Taking Adherence and Exercise Participation

Stanford Study Proves Digital Self-Management Program for Diabetes Reduces A1C and Depression

Large Peer-Reviewed Study Shows Digital Self-Management Program for Diabetes, Better Choices, Better Health®, Significantly Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Improves Depression

Canary Health’s Exclusive Online Workshop for Individuals With Diabetes Also Reduces Hypoglycemic Symptoms, Improves Medication-Taking Adherence and Exercise Participation

LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwired – August 31, 2016) – Canary Health, a leading provider of proven digital health self-management programs for multiple chronic conditions, today announced the results of a major study of its exclusive Better Choices, Better Health® online program for individuals with diabetes. The largest peer-reviewed study to-date of a digital self-management program showed positive outcomes over a 6-month period across five key diabetes management and behavioral indicators including blood sugar (Hb1Ac) control, reduction of hypoglycemic symptoms, medication adherence, exercise participation and improved depression levels. The study engaged a broad population of more than 1,000 participants with type 2 diabetes and was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR). *For updated study results at 12 month mark click here. For the third study done which shows the decreased utilization and cost-savings outcomes for the same program based on a 12 month study, click here.

“This study confirms previous evidence that empowering individuals to self-manage their condition leads to improved health outcomes. It’s clear that Better Choices, Better Health, through its focus on individual goals and peer support enables people to own their health,” said Dr. Neal Kaufman, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of Canary Health. “These results should be a clear call for broader clinical acceptance of digital health self-management as a crucial part of transforming healthcare to a value-based model.”

The study, conducted by researchers from the Stanford School of Medicine, was initiated by Canary Health’s public policy partner, the National Council on Aging (NCOA), in partnership with Anthem, BMS Foundation, Y-USA, and OASIS Institute. The study’s goal was to replicate results from numerous controlled trials of Better Choices, Better Health to a larger population within the real-world health plan environment. Results showed positive outcomes in five key areas:


  1. Blood sugar (Hb1Ac) levels were reduced
  2. Depression symptoms improved
  3. Frequent hypoglycemic symptoms decreased
  4. Medication adherence improved
  5. Exercise participation improved


“We clearly achieved our goal in showing that evidence-based diabetes self-management programs are equally effective for a larger, more diverse group of people who would typically enroll through their health plans,” said Dr. Kate Lorig, DrPH, Director of the Stanford Patient Education Research Center and lead researcher of the study. “Given the significant, positive outcomes of the study, we are grateful that Canary Health has the ability to offer Better Choices, Better Health, at scale, around the world.”

“The significance of this study cannot be overstated. This is the first and only digital diabetes self-management study of this scale and scope,” added Dr. Jay Greenberg, ScD, CEO of NCOA Services and one of the Principal Investigators of the study.

Better Choices, Better Health®, is a six-week online workshop where groups of approximately 25 people with chronic health conditions participate with the support of coaches, who are peers with a chronic health condition themselves. Topics covered in the workshops include condition management skills such as making informed treatment decisions and appropriate use of medications, behavioral skills such as techniques to deal with frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation, and social skills such as how to communicate effectively with family, friends, and health professionals. The program was developed by Dr. Kate Lorig and her colleagues at Stanford University’s Patient Education Research Center.

This study’s publication follows Canary Health’s major partnership announcement that Medtronic will be re-selling its self-management programs, including both Better Choices, Better Health® and its CDC-recognized Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), Virtual Lifestyle Management (VLM).

With more than 117 million people in the U.S. suffering from one or more chronic illnesses, Canary Health’s mission is to provide evidence-based, digital self-management programs that reduce the cost of care and make a significant impact in preventing and arresting the progression of chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and depression. According to the CDC, health self-management helps people learn techniques to reduce pain and improve function and to develop skills and confidence to daily manage their conditions. Participants in Canary Health’s self-management programs have also seen fewer visits to physicians and emergency departments, fewer days in the hospital and fewer hospitalizations.

About the Study

The above referenced study, “Benefits of Diabetes Self-Management for Health Plan Members: A 6-Month Translation Study” by Kate Lorig, DrPH; Phillip L. Ritter, PhD; Ralph M. Turner, PhD; Kathleen English, MBA; Diana D. Laurent, MPH; Jay Greenberg, ScD, was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (Volume 8, Issue 6) in July 2016. Click here for the complete study.


*For the most recent updates to this study at the 12 month mark, click here.

**For the third study done which shows the decreased utilization and cost-savings outcomes for the same program based on a 12 month study, click here.

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  • Barbara Lindsay   Reply →

    What do you have for heart disease?

    • Mary Barbato   Reply →

      Hi Barbara,

      Our Better Choices, Better Health program would probably be a good fit for you. What insurance do you have and what state do you live in? That will determine if the program is available to you.

  • christine kobus   Reply →

    I would like to enroll in the online self management diabetes workshop.

    • Mary Barbato   Reply →

      Hi Chris,

      Your eligibility depends on what insurance you have and what state you live in. Please share both with me and I can send you in the right direction.

  • I would like more information on how to become a Better Health, Better Choices facilitator. Please contact me at 928-317-4645 or email.
    Thank you

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