Lark Health, a healthcare company that helps people prevent and manage chronic conditions through an AI-powered platform, today announced results from its latest study, which examined the engagement of adults 65 years and older with a digital health platform compared to that of adults aged 35 to 64 years. The research was published in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Digital Health.
The researchers examined user engagement among older adults (65 years and older) compared to younger adults (35 to 54 years) in relation to number of coaching conversations, meals logged, and device measurements. All eligible participants were enrolled in Lark’s digital health platform–which provides automated and personalized coaching using conversational AI through four different programs: Diabetes Prevention, Prevention, Diabetes Care, and Hypertension Care–over the first 12 months after the program start date.
In their analysis, the researchers found that across all four programs, older adults surpassed younger adults in their engagement with the Lark digital health platform. This is significant as older adults have a higher prevalence of chronic diseases, with 86 percent of this population having at least one chronic condition like diabetes or hypertension, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The results from this study suggest that fully digital programs like Lark’s present a widely scalable, cost-effective, and engaging way to help older adults manage modifiable risk factors through interventions that motivate positive behavior changes in physical activity, weight management, medication adherence, and monitoring of clinical indicators. This evidence counters the perception that older adults struggle to adopt new health technologies, and is encouraging for the future of chronic care innovation.
“Our initial hypothesis was that adults between 35 and 64 years would be more engaged with digital health programming, but it turns out that adults over 65 actually participated more actively in Lark’s programs over the course of a year,” said lead authors Dr. OraLee Branch, Clinical Research Director, and Dr. Sarah Graham, Clinical Studies Research Writer at Lark Health. “It’s very exciting to know that innovative treatment methods can help treat the population with the highest chronic disease burden and really get them involved in their own health.”
“I founded Lark because I believed that scalability would be a critical part of the solution to addressing the overwhelming chronic disease burden facing our country, and that AI and technology would be central to scalability. These new clinical findings validate that this tech-forward approach works across populations and keeps users engaged no matter their age,” said Julia Hu, CEO and Co-Founder of Lark Health.
To build on this analysis, Frontiers in Digital Health invited Lark’s clinical research team to guest-edit an upcoming edition of the journal, which will be specially focused on how aging-related factors may affect uptake, engagement, and outcomes with digital health technologies. Dr. OraLee Branch, Clinical Research Director, and Dr. Sarah Graham, Clinical Studies Research Writer at Lark Health, will curate and offer commentary on a collection of manuscripts exploring this topic, alongside a team of academic guest co-editors. They include Dr. Patricia Areán, a Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences University of Washington, Dr. Raeanne Moore, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, and Dr. Eli Puterman, a Research Chair with the University of British Columbia.
“The paper by Graham and co-workers demonstrates the catalytical role and impact that digital health can contribute to the engagement of older adults with coaching-based connected health solutions and toolsets leading to their empowerment and better well-being. Most importantly, their findings are based on the evaluation of the proposed AI-based solution on more than 2,000 subjects for 12 months,” said Professor Constantinos Pattichis, Chief Editor of Frontiers in Digital Health. “Moreover, the findings of the study are of paramount importance nowadays due to the pandemic enabling the offering of appropriate, cost-effective, monitoring interventions in the elderly and especially in the care and management of chronic diseases, including diabetes prevention and care, hypertension care and prevention, and others.”
If you or your organization would like to submit an academic paper for consideration, please visit this link to submit your abstract before September 27, 2021. This special edition will be published in early 2022.