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Digital health solutions, particularly in behavioral health, have tremendous potential to help people access support when and how they need it – and exciting research results demonstrate how it can be done.

Solving for the impact of behavior on mental health at scale is a huge challenge - one that Omar Manejwala, Chief Medical Officer of Dario Health, faces every day. We spoke with Dr. Manejwala about how digital solutions can improve behavioral health and reduce costs by making engagement and retention the path of least resistance. He shared his thoughts about how personalized support delivers the best possible clinical outcomes and highlighted recent research as a real-world application of this approach. 

So, Dr. Manejwala, how does Dario help people with their behavioral health?

Our behavioral health solution uses an evidence-based triage screener to assess individual mental health needs and recommend the right type of care for each person. The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) based programs offer members self-guided programs designed to teach proven techniques for managing emotional health. Members can work with a coach for goal setting and motivation and are able to access digital resources such as coaching and breathing exercises at any time through Dario’s app. 

What makes your digital behavioral health offering different from all the solutions that are out there?

I could go on about this all day, but I’ll focus on what I think are two things that make what we would do stand out from the crowd. The first is personalized treatment recommendations. Integration with Dario’s AI-driven behavior change engine ensures that each participant’s journey is tailored to their unique needs and preferences, adapting as circumstances change to keep people on the path to better health. We optimize engagement at every point for better program adherence, motivation, and sustained behavior change.

The second is our rigorous study methodology. We’re constantly testing and refining our solutions, as demonstrated by our 45+ published research studies. We want to know the value of the innovations that we introduce - how do they perform out in the world? If a solution is designed to manage anxiety or help with work stress but there’s no adoption or engagement, it’s essentially useless. 

Interesting. Can you share a recent example of how Dario analyzes the value of its offering?

Sure. We just had a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) demonstrating the impact of coaching and breathing exercises as part of our digital behavioral health program for members living with depression or anxiety, two of the most common mental health conditions.

We looked at the data of participants in two cohorts engaged in Dario’s digital self-guided programs who started at a moderate or high level of depression or anxiety. These study participants engaged in Dario’s digital programs alongside the use of a coach or digitally delivered breathing exercises over the course of 16 weeks.

Here’s what we found: 

  • A significant decrease in depression and anxiety symptoms during the first six weeks which was maintained throughout the rest of the 16 weeks program.
  • 63% of members using Dario to manage depression experienced an overall improvement in symptoms, and the use of coaching significantly moderated symptoms in the first six weeks.
  • 63% of members using Dario to manage anxiety also saw an improvement in symptoms, and the use of breathing exercises significantly moderated anxiety symptoms in the first six weeks.

This study shows the value of personalizing the solution for each member over a one size fits all approach. We’re proud to be able to deliver these kinds of results and help our members live happier and healthier lives. Because many of our members are dealing with chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and musculoskeletal pain, we offer one integrated platform that addresses both physical and emotional needs, when relevant.