Diabetes Center at UCSF and Yes Health, an all-mobile program to prevent type 2 diabetes are teaming up on a precision medicine initiative to aid development of personalized type 2 diabetes prevention and treatment strategies. As part of the initiative, Yes Health will develop opt-in tools that provide its users the opportunity to share real-time behavioral data, such as diet, exercise, and sleep patterns for UCSF researchers
According to the American Diabetes Association, 86 million Americans (more than one-in-three) are identified as having prediabetes, yet 90 percent are unaware of their condition. People with prediabetes have higher than normal blood glucose levels, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Without intervention, 70 percent of people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes during their lifetime. These statistics drove Yes Health to act.
“We started Yes Health with a vision to address a rapidly growing – and often silent – epidemic, type 2 diabetes,” said Alex Petrov, founder and CEO of Yes Health. “By connecting the data from our mobile type 2 diabetes prevention program with the unparalleled health sciences and patient care network of UCSF, we hope to take a significant step towards developing better prevention and treatment programs and moving toward our ultimate goal: putting an end to the disease.”
The Diabetes Center at UCSF, realizing the ominous nature of the prediabetes epidemic, has made tackling this condition a point of emphasis. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is partly conferred by biological and genetic factors, but is also heavily influenced by behavioral and environmental factors. The Diabetes Center’s goal will be to decipher the individual and integrated contributions of these myriad risk factors using data.
“By working with Yes Health, we will be able to collect and analyze large amounts of behavioral data from people with prediabetes,” said Matthias Hebrok, PhD, director of the Diabetes Center at UCSF. “In addition to providing us with rich insights regarding how behavioral and environmental factors impact those with prediabetes, these data can be coupled with cellular, genetic, and other biological data to create an unparalleled resource for scientific discovery. Additionally, this alliance will ultimately facilitate our ability to identify cohorts that can participate in clinical trials focused on the relationship between behavioral and biological aspects of diabetes risk, helping us develop highly individualized prevention and treatment programs.”
This is the first in a series of planned collaborations between the Diabetes Center at UCSF and Yes Health, which in addition to the precision medicine initiative, will also include the development of a broad array of educational and support services aimed at type 2 diabetes prevention.