Another step forward for diabetes care management

A fresh infusion of capital – including backing from the world’s largest supplier of diabetes devices – hasGlookopoised to ramp up its care management platform.

The Silicon Valley company has raised $16.5 million in Series B Diabetes-Programfinancing, including backing from two new investors, Canaan Partners and Medtronic – the latter of which owns roughly 66 percent of the insulin pump market and almost half of the continuous glucose monitor sector. Company officials say they’ll use the funding to expand their device-agnostic platform.

The news is further proof that the diabetes market is among the more advanced for mHealth, with device makers and software companies joining forces to create platforms that allow diabetics to monitor their conditions in real time and share that data with care providers.

Glooko CEO Rick Altinger pointed out in an e-mail to mHealth News that the diabetes care management industry has come a long way in three years, when device makers paid scant attention to mobile tools. Since then, software platforms have improved to the point that they’ve “become a consumer expectation,” he said, while healthcare providers are now incentivized to pursue quality over quantity, and emphasis prevention and care management.

While targeting a diabetes market that continues to grow at an alarming rate – diabetes care costs the U.S. healthcare system roughly $245 billion in 2012 – Glooko’s latest deal points to an increased focus on patient-generated data. The company’s Bluetooth-enabled MeterSync app pulls data from some 30 blood glucose monitors, representing more than 90 percent of the market, and positions that data in its Population Tracker platform, which clinicians can view.

Altinger said Glooko will be working with Medtronic to synch its platform with the company’s pumps and continuous glucose monitors, just as it’s working with other players in the market on interoperability. The Glooko platform, he noted, already synchs with wearables from Fitbit, Jawbone, iHealth, Withings, Runkeeper and Strava, and he expects to talk to Apple about both the Apple Watch and HealthKit.

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