Living with a chronic condition has layers of complexity—from the daily data-tracking that it requires to the mental and emotional toll it can take on you—and therefore requires an interdisciplinary approach. One Drop's evidence-based platform integrates behavioral science and data science—known as behavioral data science—to create a feedback loop that continuously assesses a member’s health status and delivers behavioral recommendations accordingly. We take into account the actual numbers that go into managing diabetes, high blood pressure, and other cardiometabolic conditions, as well as the human element of it all: the constant stream of decision-making, the fight to maintain motivation, the desire for community and a sense of belonging. So, how does One Drop work, exactly?
In the simplest terms, One Drop is a platform that makes it easier to stay healthy and manage a chronic condition (or multiple conditions). In the One Drop app (available on iOS and Android), you can track your health data (including your weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, food, medication, and more), explore customized educational content about your chronic condition, get matched with one of our expert health coaches, and set and monitor adjustable goals in a variety of areas, all in one place. Plus, with different product collections that feature a glucose meter, scale, or blood pressure monitor that sync directly to the app, it’s easier than ever to not only keep track of your numbers but make sense of them, too, thanks to One Drop’s real-time, predictive insights.
The results of One Drop’s program speak for themselves: Research shows that One Drop members log more physical activity per week, fewer carbs per meal, and they’re saving thousands of dollars in medical costs, thanks to the A1c reductions associated with our program.
The One Drop app may be capable of a lot, but when you first become a One Drop Premium member, the goal is to figure out your unique health goals. As you set up your app, you’ll be asked which areas of your health you’d like to work on, whether it’s your blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, workout routine, diet, or even your stress levels (or, perhaps, all of the above).
From there, you’ll connect whatever devices you may have—whether it’s your glucose meter, blood pressure monitor, or weight scale—that can pair with the app, so you can start feeding your numbers into one convenient spot. You can also set up your own reminders and notifications within the app, whether you need a nudge to remember your medication or to take a proper lunch break.
What’s more, if you ever run out of glucose testing supplies, One Drop has you covered there, too: You can order test strips and lancets right in the app whenever you need them, or you can even subscribe to a monthly plan so you never have to worry about running out.
But what can you expect outside of the tangible supplies needed to manage your health? How does One Drop work to keep you consistent in reaching your health goals? Below, we dive into One Drop’s multifaceted self-care platform and how it can help you thrive.
The Benefits of One-on-One Coaching
One Drop coaches include health experts with a range of certifications in everything from diabetes education and weight management to nutrition and nursing. In other words, One Drop coaches are real humans—not bots.
Once you set up your One Drop app and define your health goals, you’ll be matched with a coach who has just the right background for your needs.
Regardless of the chronic condition you’re living with, though, One Drop coaches start by meeting you exactly where you are in your health journey, whether you’ve just been diagnosed or you’re in the throes of burnout.
“Wherever you are in that journey, and whatever you’re ready for (or not ready for), I will help you starting from that place,” explains One Drop coach, Alex, a registered dietitian/nutritionist (RDN) and certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES). “From there, we come up with a plan for how you want to get to your destination and what steps you’re ready (and not ready) to take to get there.”
If you’re not ready to take certain steps, that’s okay. “Sometimes we just want someone to lend us an ear as we weigh out the pros and cons of a particular change or contemplate the next step,” continues Alex. “As a health coach, I see myself as someone you can bounce ideas off of, talk to about your experience, look for patterns with, and discuss trial-and-error learnings with. Having someone by your side who can help you digest and process this information can go a long way and make a big difference.”
That human connection is “where the magic really happens,” adds One Drop coach, Amy Crees, RDN. Yes, there are predictive forecasts and deep-dive insights to discover about your health, and your coach can help you make sense of all of it, but they can also be a simple source of support when you need it.
“There is a significant amount of emotion tied to managing chronic conditions,” explains Crees. “Being able to discuss real-life challenges and strategize with a real human who can express empathy and understanding is irreplaceable.”
Granted, it will take time for you and your coach to develop that connection; it probably won’t happen overnight. But the more you engage with them, the more they can help you, says One Drop coach, Lisa Goldoor, CDCES and registered nurse (RN). “My goal is to listen,” she explains. “What are your goals? What are your barriers? What makes you feel good? Where do you struggle?”
And the truth is, it could feel overwhelming at first to answer all these questions, admits Goldoor. “It might be more enticing to sign up for some other plan with stricter rules where all you have to do is follow the rules,” she continues. “But those rules might not work for you and your lifestyle. You have to be willing to really think about and examine, and reexamine, your goals over time.”
Once your coach has a better understanding of your goals, then they can offer suggestions, education, or help with motivation and accountability, depending on what you’re looking for, says Goldoor. “We’ll always keep checking in to make sure we’re going in the direction you want to go in,” she explains. “Health journeys are not always linear; there are twists and turns along the way. I’m along for the ride, in whatever direction it takes us.”
The Behavioral Science That Supports Your Chronic Condition Journey
Committing to your health means thinking about (and possibly rethinking) your daily habits, challenges, strengths, weaknesses, and more. Behavioral science, which explores the thought processes that shape our behaviors, informs how we design One Drop programs to support people living with chronic conditions from the time they receive a diagnosis, through the long-term management of their health.
When designing different programs and interventions in the app, “one of our goals is to reduce cognitive overload for our members,” explains Dr. Harpreet Nagra, PhD, VP, behavioral science and advanced technologies at One Drop. In other words, we want to create an experience that makes your self-care easier. “Living with a chronic condition typically means making hundreds of extra decisions per day, which can get exhausting very quickly,” she notes. “We want to reduce how impacted you feel by that exhaustion.”
In part, reducing that cognitive load means getting all the information you need about your chronic condition in one place, so you don’t have to exhaust yourself looking for it elsewhere. The content in our chronic condition programs includes evidence-based information from organizations such as the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Heart Association (AHA) and synthesizes the latest medical, psychological, and behavioral digital health research into digestible explainers and interactive quizzes, graphics, podcasts, videos, and more.
“We also conduct internal studies to figure out how effective the intervention we’ve selected is in getting us the results we want for our members,” adds Dr. Nagra. “Then we repeat what’s working and integrate that into our digital health solution, and remove what’s not working.” (Learn more about One Drop’s impressive results.)
To help you stay motivated, the behavioral science team has also designed reinforcements within the app—meaning, when you follow through with treatment guidelines or log your meals consistently, the app takes notice of your hard work and reinforces those efforts, says Dr. Nagra. “It’s really important to validate our members for the work they’ve been doing in order to manage their chronic condition,” she explains.
Again, though, behavioral science works best in chronic condtion management when it crosses paths with data science.
The Data Science That Powers One Drop
Maybe you go to the doctor for an annual check-up or, if you currently live with a chronic condition, perhaps you go a few more times per year than the average person. Either way, it can be hard to stay motivated when you’re waiting that long between appointments. How do you know that what you’re doing is really working and that your health is on the right track?
That’s where data science comes in. At its core, data science is simply the process of gathering information and learning from it, says One Drop coach, Alexa Stelzer, RDN, CDCDES. Having in-depth details about your health at your disposal at any time can help you reduce the uncertainties that come with managing chronic health conditions, like sudden blood pressure spikes or inexplicable blood sugar lows.
Plus, by leveraging health data from more than 1.5 million One Drop members (including relevant data from the health apps that One Drop can integrate with), that means One Drop can use billions of data points from both your experiences and from people with similar health profiles as you, to create an accurate prediction of what your health might look like moving forward. For instance, research shows that One Drop’s glucose predictions are over 90% accurate. (Learn more about the predictive models and artificial intelligence behind One Drop’s platform.)
How do we accomplish this? Machine learning models (the same type of technology that generates just the right recommendations for you on streaming services like Hulu or Spotify) allow the app to find patterns quickly in a sea of billions of health data points, including yours and other One Drop members’. The more data these models have, the more likely they are to spot details that align with your experiences, making the app’s insights and suggestions for your self-care that much more accurate. (How accurate, you ask? Dig into the peer-reviewed research that supports the One Drop platform.)
As Dan Goldner, PhD, EVP of advanced technologies at One Drop, says: “We’re all different, but we’re more alike than different.” In other words, we can all stand to learn from one another’s experiences, even if we’re not all living exactly the same experiences. “That’s what artificial intelligence does: It organizes all of that information so we can find times and places when similar things have been happening to similar people,” explains Goldner. “That’s what allows us to predict what’s going to happen, to understand why, and to give actionable advice, guidance, and education that’s going to help you get better.”
So, what do you do with all this data once you have it? “Receiving these predictions can create a moment of pause and allow you to actively decide whether you will continue toward this predicted trajectory, or if you’d like to intervene and change the direction you’re headed,” explains Stelzer. “It shifts the focus from reacting to changes in your health to being proactive about your health.” That’s where behavioral science comes back into the picture as well: Together, behavioral science and data science work in concert to uncover the nitty-gritty details of your health and provide actionable ways to stay on the right track or, if needed, change course.
Along the way, your One Drop coach is there to help you translate the data and wrap your head around what all these numbers mean for your health. “One Drop coaches have extensive training and thousands of combined hours of hands-on experience interpreting data and trends,” explains One Drop coach, Alex, RDN, CDCES. “No matter where you are in your health journey, you can use your coach as a sounding board about the data and trends you’re seeing. And, ideally, over time, these will build into new tools and habits that you can carry with you for life.”
Ready to start building those new habits? Become a One Drop Premium member and discover what our platform has to offer you.
This article has been clinically reviewed by Jamillah Hoy-Rosas, MPH, RDN, CDCES, and VP of clinical operations and program design at One Drop.