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depression, anxiety, diabetes, digital health

Silicon Valley Diabetes Startup Now Tackling Depression

You may have known that diabetes and depression are linked. New research from Silicon Valley has shown that the link is stronger than we knew.

A startup developed an app to manage diabetes, but realized that depression is something it should tackle as well.

The startup is called Omada, and it’s expanding to treat depression and anxiety.

Omada will partner with Lantern, a mental health startup, to use CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) to treat depression and anxiety.

Diabetes and depression

Half of adults who have depression are also obese. And those with depression are more likely to be obese than those who have not been diagnosed. Depression and diabetes burnout are both symptoms of diabetes.

Depression is very common, and it’s important to come to terms with how you are feeling and get help. Cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling, medication, exercise, and self-care are all means that can alleviate depression.

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What is CBT?

In cognitive behavioral therapy, a counselor helps to steer you away from negative or inaccurate thinking patterns. CBT is short-term and it helps patients respond more effectively to life’s hard situations. The main goal of CBT is to help people change how they respond to situations that are challenging emotionally.

The good news is due to the mind-body connection, once you get your depression under control, your blood sugar levels will improve as well.

How does it work?

You are connected online with a coach, peer group, and a team of dietitians, doctors, and psychologists. Patients who use the program report losing weight and feeling better.

Patients who are already enrolled in Omada for diabetes will have access to the new depression tools. New customers can enroll in the mental health services separately.

Omada is backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Cigna, and employers like Costco and health insurance plans like Kaiser Permanente offer Omada’s services to their members.