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Diabetes is a big and expensive problem, costing $245 billion annually in the US. Globally over 380 million currently have diabetes, a number that expected to reach over 500 million by 2035. It's an enormous problem, and one that is about to become a pandemic at a global level.
Glooko, a creator of a tracking device that focuses on patients with diabetes, is helping to solve the problem, and it just $16.5 Million in Series B financing to expand even further. The funding came from Canaan Partners and Medtronic, who joined existing investors including The Social + Capital Partnership and Samsung, and smaller original angel investors.
The company had previously raised $11.2 million, a $7 million Series A round in January of 2014, bringing its total funding to $27.7 million.
Since the last time it raised funding, Glooko has entered into a number of partnerships, that has allowed it to demonstrate its outcome results, Rick Altinger, CEO of Glooko, told me in an interview.
Specifically, Glooko has three types of partnerships, including with health systems, including one of the largest clinics for type 2 diabetes in the country.
"When they put someone on insulin, in the past they had to call in their results, but patients forget to do that, and it wasn’t accurate," Altinger said. "Now they use Glooko and all the patient has to do is use it like they would in every day life. It reminds them when to take their medication and how much. On the back end, the physician can see the information from the device."
Second are medical device companies, which are "constantly trying to innovate around blood glucose meters."
"They are coming to us with desire to partner," said Altinger, telling me that the company recently got a delivery from a large Japanese company with some new meters coming out. The meters aren't yet approved by the FDA, but, when they are, "they want us to support them."
"Glooko augments and makes their products better and providers want a universal platform for accessing data for all their patients."
Lastly are pharmaceutical companies, though Altinger says that these partnerships are in the "earliest stages."
"They are wanting to get beyond the pill and medicine, to offer a wrap around service. If they can offer capabilities that are all tied to a goal, which is managing blood glucose better, that helps them help provide better for their customers.".
Launched at the end of 2010, Glooko is a digital logbook for people with diabetes who have to check their blood sugar every day.
Glooko makes a cable, called the MeterSync Cable, and a mobile app that is available on both iOS and Android.
The app allows patients to log medications and foods, including nutritional data on over 200,000 foods and menus from most major restaurants. Through a web dashboard that translates key blood glucose, carb and medication data into statistics and graphs, providers are better able to manage their patients with diabetes.
When the cable is combined with the Glooko’s mobile application, it allows for glucose data to be directly transferred from a glucose meter into a mobile device. The mobile apps integrates into the existing Glooko diabetes management web dashboards, which enable healthcare professionals and care management teams to remotely monitor and identify at-risk patients.
In addition to the funding news, it was also announced that Canaan Partners’ Wende Hutton has joined the Board of Directors at Glooko, joinging Altinger, co-founder Yogen Dalal and Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder and Partner at Social + Capital.
"Canaan has a long history with healthcare oriented deals, including pharmaceutical and medical device. Wende understands the complexities of FDA, and physician reimbursement," Altinger said. "She knows how pharmaceutical companies interact wth providers and patients to drive better outcomes. She's got a wealth of experience over decades."
The new funding will be used to expand the company’s platform to include device data from insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and integration of personalized predictive algorithms.
"We want to do more with analytics and machine learning. It's not just about getting data, but turning it into actionable data," said Altinger. "We want to be doing more with real time pumps and analytics for both the provider and patient, so they can see when there are issues and they can see what patients over the weekend have had dangerously low hyperglycemic readings."
That means not having to wait six months until they are into the office, but communicating online. This will forms a big part of the company's ROI driver, helping it to reduce emergency room and hospital visits.
Glooko will also use the funding to build out its customer success management team, to help deploy to the increasing number of provides.
The Palo Alto-based company has thousands of users, and is looking to expand globally. It already has a partner in Singapore and a number of pilots in the United Kingdom.