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Dr Ronesh Sinha: Changing Cardiometabolic Health With Continuous Glucose Monitoring

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In this interview, Ronesh Sinha, MD, explains how he's addressing the burden of cardiometabolic disease with the initiation of his continuous glucose monitor program at Sutter Health.

On Wednesday, April 17, at The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®) Institute for Value-Based Medicine® hosted by Sutter Health in San Francisco, California, Ronesh Sinha, MD, an internal medicine physician at Sutter Health, shared insights on the current landscape of cardiometabolic health from his clinical experience.

Beyond his clinical responsibilities, he serves as the medical director of employer strategy, where he collaborates with local companies to develop innovative health and wellness initiatives. Additionally, Sinha plays a pivotal role as the medical director for Sutter Select, overseeing the health benefits of the organization's workforce.

In this interview, Sinha explained how he's addressing the burden of cardiometabolic disease with the initiation of his continuous glucose monitor program at Sutter Health.

Transcript

During your presentation, you discussed improving cardiometabolic health using continuous glucose monitors. What were the key takeaways from your talk?

I started my clinical practice here in the Bay Area about 20 years ago, and I started seeing people coming in with prediabetes, diabetes, and heart disease at a very young age. Although lifestyle change is a really challenging proposition, and in a busy clinical practice, often doctors don't have that much time to really intensively counsel people on lifestyle. So, as a result of, sort of, using the glucose sensors in my practice, I was actually able to arm people with useful clinical information, but also give them a tool like a sensor that could tell them in real-time what their lifestyle inputs are doing to their actual glucose levels—so being really focused on preventing diabetes and heart disease.

Once I saw in my clinic that this is—wow, this is an incredible way to really get people to change [their] behavior, I really wanted to come up with a scalable solution that can really serve broader populations. So that really led from my clinical practice inside the clinic to something we can really take widely to a broader population by prescribing sensors, getting them in people's hands, and then taking a lot of my experience and insights about the glucose sensor and just making it much more achievable, consumable, so you can really understand what the numbers mean. It's one thing to put a sensor on, but if you don't know what the numbers mean, it can cause a lot of anxiety and stress. So our team's job is to really teach people how to digest that information while motivating them to implement sustainable behavior changes.

Tell us how you started the continuous glucose monitoring program at Sutter Health.

You know, what we did was we built a program from the ground up through Sutter Health. So, it literally started with just giving, basically prescribing, sensors to individuals and giving them access to a platform that we develop, where they can actually learn how to consume that glucose data and make changes. It started off really small, then out of that it just grew. So it's really 100% organic, built in Sutter. In the beginning, we thought, "Do we partner with other digital health companies, etc?" But we really made it a mission to make sure we just kind of grow it on our own.

The nice thing about growing a program within the health care system is our physician colleagues learned about it very early on, they have a lot of trust in our program so they're referring patients into it. We've had a very critical partnership with Sutter Pharmacy, and Sutter Pharmacy is the one that actually helps prescribe with me. And they prescribe the sensor so patients can basically pick it up at their pharmacy because when you're doing that for several hundred people, I can't write 100 prescriptions for that, so Sutter Pharmacy has allowed us to do that. So, everything has been kind of built and grown and disseminated through Sutter Health.

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