Kansas City,
08:00 AM

Children’s Mercy Kansas City Using Big Data to Transform Type 1 Diabetes Treatment through Alliance Funded by the Helmsley Charitable Trust

Children’s Mercy Kansas City – leveraging the predictive analytics technology developed by Cyft, Inc. – announced the newly-formed Rising T1DE Alliance (Rising T1DE), a novel kind of learning health system that seeks to predict diabetes outcomes and rapidly test novel behavioral and digital health interventions to ensure the right intervention is used for the right person at the right time. Rising T1DE was launched through a $8.5 million grant to Children’s Mercy from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

More than 18,000 cases of type 1 diabetes are diagnosed among young people under age 20 in the U.S. each year, according to the American Diabetes Association. Studies show that poor disease control at any age significantly raises lifetime risk of serious complications, such as heart disease and kidney disease.

Rising T1DE is an industry-leading team of clinicians, data scientists, researchers, persons with diabetes and family members focused on rapidly innovating and scaling quality improvement efforts in diabetes care by using Cyft’s predictive analytics technology. Children’s Mercy selected Cyft’s technology because of Cyft’s expertise in turning disparate data into actionable solutions, and its interest in understanding how to apply these capabilities to a low incident, yet severe chronic condition such as type 1 diabetes. The project is co-led by Mark Clements, MD, PhD, pediatric endocrinologist, Professor of Pediatrics, and the Rick and Cathy Baier Family Endowed Chair in Endocrinology, along with Leonard D’Avolio, PhD, Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Mass General Brigham, and CEO of Cyft, Inc.

“Our vision is to leverage data science to predict outcomes, and then use quality improvement methods and implementation science to improve diabetes outcomes,” said Dr. Clements. “We want to identify and predict our highest-risk patients in a way that allows us to intervene early and prevent poor health outcomes before they happen.”

“As a private foundation, we have the responsibility to fund high-risk, high-reward projects with the potential to lessen the daily burden faced by people living with T1D,” said Laurel Koester, MPH, Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust's Type 1 Diabetes Program. “Rising T1DE is a bold effort that will allow us to learn quickly and accelerate positive changes when it comes to T1D care.”

Rising T1DE takes an integrated approach to diabetes intervention and harnesses data overlooked by much of the healthcare ecosystem, combining artificial intelligence and human expertise to discover and test new type 1 diabetes interventions quickly.

According to D’Avolio, "Type 1 diabetes is something that patients and their families live with 24/7. It's one of the few diseases that asks patients to self-administer variable doses of a potentially deadly drug on a daily basis, yet most patients speak with their clinician once every three months if they're lucky. It's the perfect opportunity to put data to work to better support patients and their families."

The framework is simple: Rising T1DE selects an outcome to improve, develops a model to predict the outcome using all available data and then creates a “Change Package+” which is designed to guide predictions, tracking and improvements related to an outcome. Once an intervention has been implemented, Rising T1DE shares it with health centers across the country so they can successfully adopt the quality-improvement method, accelerating local and national change.

The program has already applied several successful interventions, which includes:

  • A remote patient monitoring intervention that provides patients the opportunity to share personal diabetes data between clinic visits, and to have more frequent contact with the diabetes care team through direct-to-home video or audio micro-visits. This allows for more timely and personalized interactions between providers and their patients.
  • The PEEPS (Patients Encouraging and Engaging Peer Support) Program that pairs teen patients with young adults living with diabetes so they can experience positive mentorship. Teens can learn from the experiences of those who have gone through similar health challenges, which may reduce distress and improve coping.
  • A first-of-its-kind, intervention is in development with a digital health company that makes software for the mobile phone, which uses machine learning to personalize patient “nudges,” to optimize the chance that the patient will meet his/her health goal.

“My goal is to take the best interventions that very talented colleagues across the field have developed, and to evaluate more of them faster to see if they can prevent a problematic outcome from happening,” said Dr. Clements. “That kind of granular, tailored, and timely interaction based on the specific needs of our patients holds so much more promise than a “one size fits all” health care delivery system.”

Learn more about the Rising T1DE Alliance.