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Cable Technology Feature Article

February 13, 2012

ComCast Partnering with United Healthcare in Program to Prevent Diabetes

By Deborah Hirsch, TMCnet Contributor

Cable TV companies are starting to realize that healthcare is where they need to focus in order to grow their businesses.

Philadelphia is one of two test cities involved in a project to curb diabetes, according to a story by John McDevitt at CBS News. ComCast is partnering with “Project Not Me,” the 12-month study targeted at “helping those who are at risk for type-2 diabetes.”

The more than 300 adults who are being sought will get to watch “16 Xfinity on demand video episodes in the comfort of their own homes and incorporate information from support materials into their daily lives,” according to McDevitt, who writes that the goal of the program “is to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by promoting healthy eating, increasing physical activity and other life style changes.”

Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have higher than normal blood glucose levels, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC).

The NDIC notes that people with prediabetes “have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.”   Of people age 65 years and older in the US, 10.9 million, or 26.9 percent, had diabetes in 2010 . But it’s not just the elderly who are developing diabetes. According to the NDIC, about 215,000 people younger than 20 had diabetes — type 1 or type 2 —in the United States in 2010.

“We know we have to rethink health care and rethink the way that we deliver care,” Deborah Sundal, who heads UnitedHealthcare’s Center for Health Reform and Modernization, told McDevitt. “The good news is that there are many lifestyle changes that with support you can make and significantly reduce your chance of getting type-2 diabetes.” 

Losing weight and exercising are two key ways to lower one’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

UnitedHealth Group and Comcast (News - Alert) Corporation have partnered for the Diabetes Prevention Program.

Deborah DiSesa Hirsch is an award-winning health and technology writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines and IBM (News - Alert) in her 20-year career. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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