After studying neuroscience as an undergraduate, and working at Google on the Analytics Team, Duffy entered the joint MD/MBA program at Harvard, where he considered how he could leverage technology to improve clinical experience and deliver better healthcare outcomes. Following his first year at Harvard he interned at San Francisco based design firm IDEO, where he was tasked with finding opportunities where digital health could be more evidence based.
It was during this research that the idea for Omada Health was born. “My co-founder Adrian James and I saw an enormous opportunity to help scale an approach from a landmark clinical study called the Diabetes Prevention Program,” explains Duffy. In May 2011 Duffy, James, and third co-founder Andrew DiMichele, founded Omada Health. With its nearly 50,000 participants, it is currently the largest CDC-recognized provider of the Diabetes Prevention Program in the nation.
For Duffy the clinical imperative to address type 2 diabetes is clear; more than 86 million American adults have prediabetes, and 1 in 3 American adults are anticipated to have type 2 diabetes by 2040, according to the CDC. Furthermore, 1 in every 5 healthcare dollars is spent treating diabetes. “Those numbers rise every year,” says Duffy. “It’s simply not sustainable.”
Omaha Health is leading the way in digital medicine for behavior driven conditions. His prediction for the future? “You’re also going to see more incumbent players in the healthcare system—health plans, health systems, payers like Medicare, providers themselves—accept that digital tools like ours have a significant role to play in addressing what I consider the public health challenge of our time,” he says. “It’s a truly exciting time to be in the industry.”
Abigail Ballou, Alexandra David, Shreya Iyer and Casey Nugent contributed to this story.
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