Glooko, Joslin partner to develop diabetes management platform

By: Jonah Comstock | Jan 21, 2014        

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glow iphone-meter-comboGlooko, maker of diabetes management software and glucometer connector cables, is teaming up with the Joslin Diabetes Center to co-develop a “virtual Joslin” remote diabetes management platform to be offered to patients via private or government payors.

“Right now patients with diabetes — or members of health plans with diabetes — cost the healthcare system anywhere from $7,000 a year to $21,000 year,” Glooko CEO Rick Altinger told MobiHealthNews. “So it is a significant portion of everyone’s healthcare expenditures. The business model for us in a virtual Joslin-type service is, for those patients we engage and enroll in the program, there’ll be a per member or patient per month payment structure.”

Glooko and Joslin will work together on the platform, with Joslin providing educational content as well as ways to analyze and work with the data generated by patients’ connected devices.

Through the service, Joslin and other care teams will be able to remotely monitor, coach and guide diabetes patients between doctor visits. The platform will “use pattern recognition algorithms to predict when patients are at risk for severe hypoglycemia or other complications and trigger provider interventions before serious complications and costs arise,” according to a press release.

Patients will use Glooko software and cables, but like the company’s direct to consumer offering, they’ll be able to work with a variety of existing glucometers.

“It’s still up to the user and/or the payor or health plan, because in some cases they’ll promote a certain device in their formulary and ask patients or members to use that particular device,” Altinger said. “So we want to be agnostic when it comes to the device, and let the consumer, payor, or health plan select the devices that they think are best for them.”

Altinger said this is going to be the core part of Glooko’s business going forward — partnering to work on evidence-based solutions offered through healthcare payors, a transition the company had in mind when it secured funding from Samsung earlier this month.

“Glooko got started proving the technology works and proving we could connect with all the major glucose meters and liberate data. And to do that we got FDA clearance in order to go direct to consumer, and have been able to prove that … patients like it and are willing to use it,” he said. “That was step one of the strategy, but from a business model perspective we see this as part of the provider and payor solutions. So, really this is a core part of how we now go to market and a core part of our business model.”

Altinger also confirmed MobiHealthNews’ prediction that Glooko would integrate with S Health, saying “It’s not a matter of ‘if’, it’s a ‘when’ and ‘exactly how’. We’re actively working on that and you’ll see more news on that in the not too distant future.”

In addition, Altinger said the company is still working on a Bluetooth connectivity module that would replace the Glooko cable and take glucometer connectivity wireless. Within the next few months, the Glooko app will begin to connect with other devices in addition to glucometers, including wireless activity monitors and wireless, connected blood pressure cuffs. Beyond that, the company has it’s eye on connecting with continuous glucose monitors and smart insulin pens to become a true “agnostic mobile-enabled data management platform.”

“One hundred and four [mobile apps] are approved by the FDA, and within that there’s a subset focused on chronic diseases,” Altinger said. “And within that, there’s a subset that’s been endorsed by and is working with leading provider organizations. And for us, being part of an evidence-based care plan solution from an entity like Joslin is really the tip of the pyramid of what we’re trying to do.”