Traditional device makers and consumer technology companies are crossing paths in making investment in a new breed of digital health companies.

March 17, 2015

3 Min Read
Medtronic and Samsung Just Invested In This Company

Traditional device makers and consumer technology companies are crossing paths in making investment in a new breed of digital health companies.

Arundhati Parmar

glooko(1).jpg

Glooko's MeterSync Blue device can pull data from 30+plus glucose meters to Apple/Android devices

With the collission of consumer technology and medical technology, a new breed of companies is attracting strategic investors who would have been unlikely to team up on investment deals in the past.

One such company is digital health company Glooko targeting diabetes management. The Palo Alto, California company announced Tuesday that it has raised $16.5 million in a Series B funding round from Medtronic, venture capital firm Canaan Partners, Samsung and The Social + Capital Partnership.

Medtronic and Canaan Partners are new investors in this financing round. As tech companies like Google, Apple and Samsung ramp up their interest in healthcare, traditional device makers like Medtronic are looking for ways to jump on the digital health bandwagon. 

Glooko appears to be positioning itself as the best of both worlds - a device maker that can use consumer technology to deliver real insight and information that can help make diabetes management easier for patients as well as providers and payers.

The company makes the Glooko MeterSync Blue device that can sync data from more than 30 glucose meters into patients' Apple and Android devices. A companion app helps patients to add their insulin, medication and food information.  The app also works with fitness trackers like Fitbit to integrate the data and provide insight into patients' overall health. Patients can also set reminders for taking medicine and checking blood sugar, and easily share their health data through email, print out or fax with their providers. The entire platform is FDA cleared and HIPAA compliant.

For providers and payers, Glooko has the PopulationTracker, a population management tool that integrates with electronic health records. This enables them to identify patients who are at-risk before they seek care through hospitalizations or other costly interventions. The goal is to helps patients and payers care for chronic patients by keeping 

"Glooko is the perfect example of a company that goes beyond developing a simple wearable or mobile phone app--they have delivered a solution that improves patient outcomes by engaging both patients and their healthcare providers to more easily manage and gain insights from the often complex web of diabetes devices," said Wende Hutton, general partner with Canaan Partners, in a news release.

The $16.5 million raised will be used to expand the Glooko platform such that patients and providers can get device data from insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems as well. The money will also support the integration of personalized predictive algorithms.

It will be interesting how digital health companies like Glooko ultimately exit assuming they are successful. Are they going to be a natural fit inside tech companies like Samsung who may not fully understand the FDA regulated world, but feel they can add value to a healthcare system in need of disruption? Or will these startups find comfort in established medtech firms that are hoping to leverage mobile tools and find relevance in a new healthcare paradigm where widgets matter less and outcomes more.

We live in interesting times....

 Arundhati Parmar is senior editor at MD+DI. Reach her at [email protected] and on Twitter @aparmarbb 

[Photh Courtesy of Glooko website]

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