MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Medical Park Family Care, the largest primary care group in Alaska, will prescribe the Livongo for Diabetes mHealth platform to 4,000 people with diabetes receiving care from the practice. “Our patients can’t always be here at the clinic, but with Livongo they can always access the support and tools they need to manage their diabetes,” said Brandon Ousley, CEO of of Medical Park Family Care, in a statement. Providers will recommend the digital platform, which includes remote patient monitoring and coaching, along with diabetes prescriptions, to ensure that people with diabetes receive 24/7 ongoing support and tools to better self-manage diabetes. “From the very beginning of the digital health revolution, we’ve seen digital solutions, providers and payers operating in silos,” said Dr. Jennifer Schneider, chief medical officer of Livingo, in a statement. “Our partnership with Medical Park is an important step in bringing everyone together with the common goal of making people healthier in an effective, scalable, and sustainable business model.”
GATINEAU, QUEBEC – Macadamian’s My Diabetes Coach voice-enabled platform was awarded runner up and $15,000 in the 2017 HITLAB World Cup of Voice-Activated Technology in Diabetes presented by Novo Nordisk. “Receiving this award is validation to the enormous potential this solution has to make an impact on youth suffering from Type 2 diabetes,” said Timon LeDain, director of Internet of Things at Macadamian, in a statement. “We knew that leveraging our Hive platform to create My Diabetes Coach would demonstrate how beneficial the use of voice assistants can be in healthcare. We are truly honored to receive this recognition, and it only empowers our resolve to bring this solution to the mainstream.” This year’s HITLAB event focused on Type 2 diabetes, with each of the finalists creating innovative solutions using voice-activated technology to make it easier for diabetics to manage their care. All of the finalists were judged on their solution’s impact, innovation, sustainability and feasibility.
CHICAGO – The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has partnered with Onduo, a diabetes management company created by Sanofi and Alphabet’s Verily, on a pilot program that will provide eligible members with access to personalized and convenient diabetes care.
The pilot is designed to measure Type 2 diabetes outcomes, including those relating to clinical improvement, cost and member experience.
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have a long history of bringing locally tailored, innovative programs to the communities we serve,” said Jody Voss, vice president of development, innovation and the group purchasing organization for BCBSA, in a statement. “We are pleased to be able to continue this tradition by partnering with Onduo on a new diabetes management program that will help eligible members better manage their Type 2 diabetes.”
The Onduo platform integrates hardware and software to provide people with access to personalized, convenient diabetes care. Participating BCBS members will be matched to the clinically appropriate interventions, including wirelessly-connected continuous glucose monitoring devices, lifestyle support, medication review and a team of Onduo health care experts. In collaboration with local BCBS network doctors, the program aims to provide care and support to members when and where they want it.
The Onduo platform will extend physicians’ support by providing guidance and continuous support to members between doctor visits.
“Onduo’s goal is to increase access to solid, evidence-based interventions in a personalized manner,” said Josh Riff, CEO of Onduo, in a statement. “Managing diabetes is a 24/7 job that we want to make easier for members.”
Pilots will begin in the first quarter of 2018 in Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina with select BCBS members who are eligible.
WALTHAM, Mass. – Glytec’s digital diabetes management software, Glucommander Outpatient, will be integrated with Onduo’s virtual diabetes clinic now in development. The integrated solution will launch in pilot programs with select U.S. providers and payers early next year. Onduo, a joint venture of Sanofi and the Alphabet company Verily, is developing the virtual platform that integrates hardware, such as wirelessly-connected continuous glucose monitors, software and personalized support from healthcare experts to help people manage their Type 2 diabetes. “Roughly half of 7.5 million people in the U.S. who use insulin to manage their diabetes are not reaching their treatment goals, and millions more who could benefit from insulin therapy either avoid it or discontinue it,” said Dr. Andrew Rhinehart, chief medical officer at Glytec, in a statement. “Fixing this decades-old problem represents one of the greatest opportunities to improve the quality and cost of diabetes care.” According to multiple studies involving the use of Glucommander Outpatient in clinical practice, patients reach their glucose targets in an average of 12.5 days and sustain drops in A1C of 2.5 percentage points over a 12-month period, with very low incidence of hypoglycemia.
SEATTLE – Wellpepper, already an established patient engagement platform provider, came up with a product that leverages voice technology in diabetes care and walked away with the grand prize in the Alexa Diabetes Challenge.
“The challenge showed us the appeal of voice solutions for patients and the clinical value of early detection with home-based solutions,” said Anne Weiler, co-founder and CEO of Wellpepper.
The company will use the $125,000 prize money to explore partnerships and look at go-to-market strategies for Sugarpod, a concept for an interactive diabetes care plan solution that provides tailored tasks based on patient preferences. It delivers patient experiences through text, email, web and a mobile application, and eventually through voice interfaces, as well.
Weiler said that since much of diabetes management occurs in the home, the Wellpepper team recognized that leveraging Amazon Alexa was the natural next step to make the Sugarpod platform more convenient for where patients are using it most. They have prototyped an Alexa-enabled scale and foot scanner that alerts patients about potential foot problems, which can be a common diabetes complication.
“People at the challenge were asking us where they could buy the scale and how much it cost,” said Weiler. “We had to tell them it was just a one-of-a-kind prototype. I’m still astounded by how much work our team did to get it made.”
Wellpepper’s solutions enable health care professionals to prescribe digital treatment programs that patients follow outside the clinic. The integration of voice technology takes them to a whole new level.
“We started with mobile, because it added a level of connection that people don’t get when they log in to a patient portal,” Weiler said. “We’re still scratching the surface in what voice can do.”
SAN FRANCISCO – Dance Biopharm is working with Phillips-Medisize to develop a version of the Dance 501 “soft-mist” inhaled insulin device for diabetes that has data connectivity for better management of treatment. “We believe our inhaled insulin product is state of the art and well-differentiated from powder based, non-electronic technology,” said John Patton, chairman and CEO of Dance Biopharm, in a statement. “It provides a platform for applying advanced digital medicine for diabetes management.” The Dance 501 electronic inhaler utilizes a vibrating mesh technology, designed to produce consistently sized particles of liquid insulin in the form of a soft mist, allowing for efficient and consistent delivery of insulin into the lungs in a few breaths. “Dance’s breathable insulin technology will be a game changer for patients living with diabetes,” said Bill Welch, chief technology officer at Phillips-Medisize, in a statement. “Working closely with Dance to support a connected health strategy, product development and manufacturing can enable faster global access to Dance’s innovative insulin delivery solution.” Phillips-Medisize, a Molex company, is an outsource provider of design and manufacturing services to the drug delivery, consumable diagnostics, medical device and specialty commercial markets.
GATINEAU, Quebec – Macadamian’s My Diabetes Coach platform has been named a finalist in the 2017 HITLAB World Cup of Voice-Activated Technology in Diabetes presented by Novo Nodisk. “Leveraging our Hive platform to create My Diabetes Coach truly demonstrates how beneficial the use of voice assistants can be in healthcare,” said Timon LeDain, director of Internet of Things at Macadamian, a health care software design and development firm, in a statement. “This solution has enormous potential to make an impact on youth suffering from a chronic illness like diabetes.” Using Macadamian’s Hive software platform, My Diabetes Coach features a mobile app, Amazon Alexa voice-enabled application, integration with wearables and a Bluetooth glucometer interface, all of which ties into a patient portal and a database with patient support content.
MILPITAS, Calif. – Bigfoot Biomedical plans to conduct a clinical trial of its automated insulin delivery system at sites across the U.S. in 2018, and is looking to expand into Europe and China.
The company signed an agreement earlier this year with Abbott to integrate its FreeStyle Libre glucose sensing technology into the automated insulin delivery system, which does not require fingerstick calibration of a glucose sensor.
“Abbott developed the best, most user-friendly, cost-effective, scalable glucose monitoring technology,” said Jeffrey Brewer, president and CEO of Bigfoot Biomedical, in a feature on the Digital Health Today podcast. “We’re going to build a whole product around it.”
Details of the trial have not yet been announced but Brewer said that, pending approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the system, a commercial launch is planned for 2020.
As Bigfoot Biomedical moves closer to the trial, Brewer said the pieces are in place for the final assembly of two Class III systems: an artificial intelligence-driven system that uses the interface of a smartphone; and a parallel system that will connect to insulin pens to automate injections. The innovation will ultimately benefit patients, health care providers and insurers, as the data gathered from the system proves its effectiveness.
“You’re doing something with the data that will tie it back to health care economic outcomes that are not only going to drive reimbursement decisions, but make the payers active advocates for the penetration of the technology because it actually saves them money,” he said. “That’s the future of health care.”
ZURICH – Digtial health company Oviva has raised $12 million in Series A funding to expand its operations across Europe and further develop its technology and nutritional treatment programs for people with diabetes and other chronic conditions. “With our technology, patients are empowered to take a leading role in managing their health,” said Kai Eberhardt, CEO and co-founder of Oviva, in a statement. “With the additional funding, we can refine our systems and gain deeper insights into the most successful techniques to help people change their behavior.” Oviva’s system uses virtual clinics and high frequency follow up to improve clinical outcomes, lowering the cost of care. Its app allows patients to message their dietitian directly and self-record their food intake, weight and activity.
WALTHAM, Mass. – When providers used the Hospital-to-Home module of Glytec’s eGlycemic Management System to guide insulin regimens prescribed at discharge, patients had no diabetes-related readmissions, urgent care visits or emergency department visits within the first 30 days, according to a study led by Eastern Virginia Medical School and presented at the recent 17th Annual Diabetes Technology Meeting. “For patients with diabetes, laying a foundation for optimal recovery and well-being following hospitalization means we need to give appropriate consideration to insulin regimens prescribed at discharge,” said Dr. Jagdeesh Ullal, the study’s principal investigator, in a statement. “The study suggests that an evidence-based software solution like Glytec’s can help overcome this inertia and be of great value.”