WellDoc partners with J&J's LifeScan, raises $7.5 million more

By Aditi Pai
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Baltimore, Maryland-based WellDoc has announced a collaboration with LifeScan, a Johnson and Johnson company that makes blood glucose meters. WellDoc also raised an additional $7.5 million from Johnson & Johnson Innovation and other investors, bringing the company’s total funding in its most recent round to $29.5 million. 

Existing investors include Samsung Ventures, Merck Global Health Innovation (GHI) Fund, Adage Capital Management, Excel Venture Management, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Hudson River Capital Partners.

WellDoc plans to work with LifeScan to integrate BlueStar, an FDA-cleared mobile application and program for people with Type II diabetes, with LifeScan’s OneTouch Verio Flex Bluetooth Smart blood glucose monitoring system and its companion app, OneTouch Reveal mobile app.

BlueStar analyzes patient data, compares the data to past trends, and sends analytics to the patient’s healthcare team. The program is supported by motivational messages, behavioral coaching, and educational content, delivered right to the patient's mobile device. The integration with LifeScan’s offering will provide users with a comprehensive system for managing Type 2 diabetes, according to WellDoc.

“Entering into a development agreement with LifeScan, ­as well as receiving a financial investment from Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, marks the start of an important relationship,” WellDoc CEO Kevin McRaith said in a statement. “…This is a very significant step forward for our company and has the potential to make a difference in the lives of millions of people living with this chronic disease.”

At the end of last year, LifeScan announced that its Reveal app would begin to offer data sharing with third party apps through Apple's HealthKit. The new functionality means Reveal users would be able to easily share their glucose numbers with any other health app that connects through Apple's HealthKit exchange. That includes Apple's Health dashboard app, which comes preloaded on all new iOS devices.

In May 2015, a post on ClinicalTrials.gov revealed that LifeScan is launching a clinical trial to determine whether another LifeScan product, its OneTouch Verio blood glucose meter, (or a not-yet-launched version of it) creates a greater reduction in A1C levels when used in conjunction with its companion app. According to the posting, the company was recruiting 148 patients for a randomized control trial that will compare patients using the OneTouch Verio Flex Blood Glucose Management System alone to patients using it with the LifeScan OneTouch Reveal app.