Outcomes of digital lifestyle change program: BMI and prediabetes/diabetes status at 1, 2 and 3 year follow up - BC-383

Preferred Disciplines: Public health, health technology, digital therapeutics, chronic disease prevention, health promotion, health sciences (PhD or Post-Doc)
Project length: 2 years (6 units)
Desired start date: As soon as possible 
Location: Vancouver, BC
No. of Positions: 1 or 2
Preferences: None
Company: Blue Mesa Health 

About Company:

Blue Mesa Health designs and delivers digital therapeutics that focus on prevention of chronic disease. “Transform” is our flagship program: a digital translation of the CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program (USA). Our leadership team is divided between our New York and Vancouver offices and has a wide breadth of expertise spanning software engineering, public health and business development.

Project Description:

Research shows that maintaining changes in health behaviours that reduce risk factors for chronic disease is cost advantageous for health systems, yet challenging for most individuals. The subsequent medical benefits caused by the healthy behaviors are also difficult to maintain. This longitudinal study will evaluate the effect of a 1-year digital lifestyle change program on BMI, prediabetes and diabetes status at baseline, and follow up points of 16 weeks, year 1, year 2 and year 3. BMI will be assessed through participant anthropometrics collected at enrolment and weight measurements obtained via digital scale. Prediabetes and diabetes status will be collected via release of records from participants’ PCP, or an alternative method. This study would also identify baseline characteristics/demographics that influence program engagement and outcomes.

Research Objectives/Sub-Objectives:

  • Determine short-term and long-term effectiveness of a 1-year digital lifestyle change program in maintaining weight loss and prevention of type 2 diabetes
  • Identify baseline participant characteristics that serve as predictors of short-term and longterm success


  • Sample:
    • 500-1000 American participants who have been identified as prediabetic (We are currently enrolling approximately 100 participants each week
    • We’d offer the opportunity to participate in this study and obtain informed consent from interested participants)
  • Intervention:
    • 1 year lifestyle change program based on the CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program (USA)
    • Blue Mesa Health has adapted the program into a digital format that is delivered via a smartphone app, connected hardware (weight scale and activity tracker), and ongoing remote health coaching
    • The Transform app has built-in features known to be effective in promoting behavioural change such as food tracking, weight tracking, physical activity tracking, social networking, and multimodal lesson curriculum
  • The program has two distinct phases:
    • Phase 1 is an intensive 16-week program that is designed to initiate modest and sustainable changes in health behaviors
    • Phase 2 which provides eight months of maintenance programming to reinforce the new health behaviors
  • Methods:
    • Quantify weight loss achieved and qualify diabetes status (Healthy, pre-diabetic or diabetic) at month 4, year 1, 2, and 3.
    • Follow up to determine degree of weight loss maintenance and effectiveness of intervention at preventing onset of type 2 diabetes

Expertise and Skills Needed:

  • You are passionate about preventive health and have a desire to make a positive impact on the world
  • You are excited to be part of a fast-moving, intellectually curious, growing digital health venture
  • You are a subject-matter expert with solid experience in research design and development, research implementation, research coordination and monitoring, complying with ethics board approval/IRB process, data analysis and biostatistics, and academic writing
  • Ideally you have published in peer-reviewed journal(s) previously
  • You are a self-starter
  • Experience collaborating with a diverse team of health science, design, business and engineering professionals


For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

  1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.
  2. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform or by contacting Yaser Roshan directly at yroshan(at)mitacs.ca