Big changes in the diabetes data-sharing world!
Last week, news broke that California-based Glooko and Sweden-based Diasend would be merging into a new unified company, creating the largest and most dominant force in diabetes data-sharing platforms anywhere on the globe. You can read the initial press release and official Glooko announcement, along with some medtech media coverage at FierceBioTech and MobileHealthNews.
Be on the lookout for the new, unified Glooko that will start materializing over the next year. No more Diasend, at least in name.
Diasend has been around for more than a decade now following its launch in 2005, while Glooko first came on the scene in 2011 and has seen rapid growth since.
Separately, the two have led the diabetes data-sharing space, reaching millions of customers throughout the world. Together, they’ll operate under the Glooko name and will serve 4,000 diabetes clinics in 23 countries, using 15 different languages. The joint platform will download data from more than 160 devices that include glucose meters, insulin pumps, CGMs and activity trackers -- whoa!
In case you’re wondering: that covers 95% of the diabetes devices used worldwide. We’re also told that Medtronic devices will finally be integrated onto the Glooko platform in the coming weeks! Combined with this summer's announcement of the new Glooko Advise decision support products, this truly makes it a powerhouse platform for PWDs!
We're not the only ones who think so, as this past weekend at the Stanford Medical #MedX conference, Glooko received a design excellence award for digital and mobile health!
We had some key questions following this announcement -- mainly, what exactly does this merger mean for users?? Glooko’s Product Analytics and Marketing Manager Vikram Singh was kind enough to offer some insight to the inquiring minds among our Diabetes Community.
Q&A on the Glooko-Diasend Merger
DM) First, congrats! Can you tell us how long this deal has been in the works and why it was necessary?
VS) The Glooko and Diasend teams have always been friendly and have had a mutual admiration for each other’s dedication in helping people with diabetes (PWDs) and their healthcare teams manage their condition. Over the years, our leaders have met to share ideas and discuss the industry. Over the past few months the leadership teams of our respective companies have been working together to determine if our merger is a good fit. After deep analysis of organizational, legal, product, marketing, regulatory and other issues, we determined that not only are we a good fit, but together can make a real impact on making diabetes management easier!
Regarding business, a few points on the merger:
- Glooko & Diasend are the dominant players in their respective markets (USA & EU). Due to the differences in our products (and competition in general), both companies have had significant demand from the opposite market (Glooko from EU, Diasend in USA). Rather than expand each company's international presence, it made more sense to merge.
- Both Glooko & Diasend see population health/remote patient monitoring as playing a leading role in diabetes care... It's the only way to scale diabetes care. Glooko specializes in remote monitoring software (that lets healthcare providers monitor patients outside of clinical settings to increase patient access to care at a lower cost) and USA sales, while Diasend specializes in diabetes device integrations (the foundation of data-driven remote monitoring) and selling in a variety of EU reimbursement markets. Together, we can scale our remote monitoring technology quickly.
- Technology & team fit - Our technologies compliment each other very well and so do our teams.
What does this mean for the respective product platforms?
We plan to integrate the products into a unified offering over the course of the next 12 months, ultimately delivering a single product line into the market. The details of this are still forthcoming. We also plan to continue to provide access to data from more than 160 different diabetes devices. Our joint product line will include:
- The best diabetes self-management mobile app and web app, including advanced decision support modules
- The leading diabetes remote patient monitoring application
- The leading clinic workflow and device upload solution – as well as analytics, reports and decision support tools
- As well as a number of diabetes data products
What does this mean for people currently using either platform?
In the near term, we will continue to support both the Glooko and Diasend mobile and web applications, so PWDs can continue to use them without interruption.
As of today, Diasend downloads data from more than 140 diabetes devices, and our plan is to continue to support these devices. We also plan to integrate all of the best features from the current Diasend mobile and web apps into future versions of the unified offering. Details of this will be determined in the coming months, there will be a transition period, and all users will be informed well in advance to ensure a timely transition.
As for clinicians, we will continue to support products used in office and to remotely coach diabetes patients. All existing contracts will be respected (of course!) and we expect to deliver a lot more value to customers as a result of the merger.
What happens to users' data collected in Diasend?
In the near future we will be working on extracting all data uploaded via the Diasend Transmitter into Glooko, so that current Diasend users can also use the Glooko web app and easily continue to view and print patient reports.
The long-term plan for the Diasend Transmitter and the Glooko Android-based tablet kiosk, which both offer similar functionality, has not yet been decided – but we are deeply committed to providing the best possible office data upload solution, optimizing both clinic workflow and patient data management.
Will the design or look of the Glooko platform change?
The Glooko product line, including Glooko’s mobile and web applications, will remain and soon become greatly enhanced by the integration of numerous popular Diasend features – as well as their support for data uploads from those 140+ diabetes devices, including Animas and Tandem insulin pumps.
Does this impact the recent announcement about Glooko compatibility with Medtronic pumps and sensors that's in the works?
No, actually Glooko launched the MedT integration as of late last week, so it's now able to see your Minimed pump and CGM data via Glooko!
Glooko's platform is all about unified, consistent, and robust visualizations and analytics across diabetes data, regardless of device. The same principle applies to Medtronic. Medtronic data, once synced, will be visualized in the same ways data from other diabetes devices are (e.g. Omnipod, Dexcom, fingerstick meters).
Any impact on other relationships with device partners already on board with either Glooko or Diasend?
Absolutely not. We expect to bring additional value to device partners and their user base as a result of the merger.
Just to confirm: Will patients or providers need to change anything they're currently doing?
For the next several months, Glooko and Diasend users (both patients and providers) can continue using the apps they know and love. When the time comes to transition to a unified product, we'll provide ample communication about the implications and timeline.
The details of what the integrated platform will look like are still being worked through via a process that takes user feedback as the No. 1 driver.
What about costs, given that Diasend has been free for users to date?
Generally, we're going to respect the contracts we have in place for their entirety, so in the near-term current customers won't see any changes -- whether it's a PWD using a mobile app or a clinician using either Glooko or Diasend.
As to future pricing, nothing's been determined. We do want the Glooko app to be free and sponsored, whether it's by payors or Pharma companies.
Currently for Glooko, the mobile app is part of a subscription that costs $59.99 per year. That also includes the cable and Bluetooth device to connect your meter. Many people use that Bluetooth device, but some don't because of connected meters, data-syncing through Apple HealthKit, or even other USB cables that they have for Android, Medtronic and other devices.
Given the #WeAreNotWaiting and Maker movement, will Glooko make its cloud platform available to third-party developers using open APIs?
Yes, over the next year we'll adapt our APIs to allow third-party developers access to the best features and data of the combined platform.
Many of our current customers are using Glooko's API in flexible ways, such as DreaMed's algorithms. In general, we offer API access to enterprise customers. We will continue to consider each API access request on a case-by-case basis.
will Glooko work to encourage open innovation?
In general, we think the biggest barrier to software and data innovation is speed. Glooko+Diasend are agile companies in the mindset of moving fast, but the healthcare and device companies often move slow. Glooko+Diasend, with our collective expertise, will continue to push our current and future partners to move faster with innovation and we're happy to help.
Specifically, we'd like to see more investment in device connectivity via NFC and BLE wireless protocols. To facilitate that, we've loaned our BLE experts to device manufacturers on several occasions.
What do you see as the impact of this big merger on the diabetes data world?
I'll echo the sentiment of Adam Brown from Close Concerns, who commented that, “Diabetes data has badly needed a single go-to global repository that works with every device; enables easy zero-hassle upload (in clinic, at home, in real-time); and gives patients and providers lightning quick, actionable analysis.”
Those of us at Glooko+Diasend couldn't agree more. Together, we're in the position to be that platform with 160+ devices supported and a global footprint spanning 4000+ diabetes systems.
It means faster innovation. As Glooko VP Michelle de Haaf says, “Now that we've joined forces, we can bring more product and more powerful features to market more quickly on a bigger scale.”
Exciting #DData Takeaways
We're not entirely surprised to see some of these D-data sharing organizations come together; consolidation makes a lot of sense here rather than an array of small players offering disparate platforms.
In other words, we're optimistic that a powerful combined platform will offer benefits to the D-Community, including better device integration, clinical integration and insurance reimbursement for provider use.
We're also thrilled to see our friends at the non-profit open-source data group Tidepool sharing in the excitement about this merger -- despite their stance as would-be competitors.
"We want Glooko+Diasend to succeed," D-Dad and Tidepool founder Howard Look wrote on the company's blog. "Their success means the ecosystem we believe in is growing and sustaining. And we genuinely hope that our efforts will foster their success, which will be for the good of the entire Diabetes Community."
Well said, and we agree. Can't wait to see the kind of conversation this generates, especially leading into our upcoming DiabetesMine D-Data ExChange in late October. Seems like there's some great #DData progress on the horizon!