Partnership creates promise for improving the health of those living with this debilitating and costly disease
SAN FRANCISCO, California—Virta Health, the first company to safely and sustainably reverse type 2 diabetes without medications or surgery, today announced an innovative partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide new hope for Veterans living with type 2 diabetes. This pilot program offers 400 Veterans access to the Virta Treatment, with the goal of helping Veterans improve metabolic health while simultaneously reducing dependency on diabetes medications.
“Partnering with community providers facilitates a more comprehensive approach to care,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Many Veterans have type 2 diabetes and it is strongly linked to obesity, so we are excited to explore Virta Health’s approach to tackling this debilitating and costly condition.”
Veterans are particularly affected by type 2 diabetes. An estimated 25% of veterans have the disease, a rate more than double the national average. Comorbidities such as obesity, depression, and heart disease are also common. More than one million Veterans are living with the condition.
Virta’s approach shows significant promise in reducing use of diabetes medications, which can relieve the economic burden of the disease. In peer-reviewed clinical trial results, 94% of patients who completed one year of the Virta Treatment eliminated or reduced insulin use. Additionally, 60% of patients reversed type 2 diabetes. The Virta Treatment improved markers of cardiovascular disease risk, too, including blood pressure, obesity, and inflammation.
“This partnership underscores VA’s commitment to pursuing creative approaches that can make transformational improvements in Veterans’ health,” said Sami Inkinen, Virta Health co-founder and CEO. “Our treatment outcomes and virtual care delivery model accessible to Veterans in all 50 U.S. states complement existing VA services, creating the exciting possibility to bring renewed health to the millions of Veterans living with type 2 diabetes.”
Virta’s approach—delivering an individualized nutrition therapy via continuous remote care—is well-suited for the geographically-distributed veteran population. Via mobile devices, Virta provides near real-time access to board-certified physicians and health coaches, who oversee delivery of personalized treatment plans.
Virta’s technology and care protocols enable rapid lowering of blood sugar and restoration of metabolic health, and subsequent deprescription of diabetes medications by Virta medical providers. Virta can provide 24/7 remote care wherever a patient resides in the United States.
“Before Virta I was taking multiple medications, was 100 pounds overweight, and had chronic, constant pain in my joints and feet. I was lucky that VA covered most of my many expenditures,” said Virta patient Tim, a Navy Veteran. “Three years after joining Virta, I’m off my meds, my blood sugar is controlled, my high cholesterol and fatty liver issues are fixed, and I have even lost 100 pounds and kept it off. This has been life-changing for me.”
Veterans interested in partnership background and eligibility criteria can go to www.virtahealth.com/veterans. Organizations interested in non-monetary partnering with VHA can go to www.va.gov/healthpartnerships.