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COVID isn't a disease anyone wants to get, of course, but it's even worse for people with certain comorbidities. That includes diabetes, which affected 34.2 million people of all ages in the US in 2018, or 10.5 percent of the population. That includes 13 percent of all US adults.
One company that was in an excellent position to help people managing their diabetes over the last year, whether they had COVID or not, was Glooko, a provider of remote patient monitoring and chronic care management solutions for diabetes and obesity.
That is why the company made its remote care offering free globally to any health system, hospital, clinic, or provider that wanted to use it, Russ Johannesson, CEO of Glooko, told me, an offer that more than 200 health systems, hospitals, and clinics around the world took the company up on. that free COVID-19 offer.
"Our mobile application for patients is always free, always has been, always will be. But offering the clinics a solution for remote care management, making that available globally for free right out of the gate, we thought, was an important move to keep people with diabetes safe and allow them to continue to be seen by their physician to manage their condition without having to take the risk of an in-person, in-clinic visit," he said.
Meanwhile, the company also had its "most successful year yet" in 2020, with 30 percent growth; it now expectats that it will to continue to grow 50 percent this year and next. Glooko also saw an 80 percent increase in the use of its remote solutions since the pandemic started.
That growth is why the company has now raised its first funding round since 2017, announcing a $30 million Series D round of funding on Tuesday led by Health Catalyst Capital. Existing investors Canaan Partners, Georgian, Novo Nordisk, Insulet and Mayo Clinic also participating, bringing its total funding to $115 million.
"We’ve experienced phenomenal growth over the past year and expect that pace to accelerate this year, as well as next. So, of course, growth is driving the need for funding," said Johannesson.
Founded in 2010, the Glooko is a solution that integrates 95 percent of all diabetes devices on the marketplace, supporting its partners’ hardware and integrating device data for use by healthcare providers, researchers, and patients.
For healthcare professionals, the company provides connected care solutions to health systems and clinics, allowing providers to remotely manage their diabetes and obesity patient population. On the patient side, Glooko's Android and IOS compatible mobile app makes it simple for them to set goals, track their medications, log their food intake and collect data from multiple devices such as activity trackers, weight scales, blood pressure cuffs, insulin pumps/pens and glucometers.
"The app transforms the data into actionable insights for both patients and the healthcare providers to set better treatment plans and enables the remote patient monitoring and treatment process so many are using today," Johannesson explained.
There are now over 1 million people with diabetes being actively managed through the Glooko platform, with over 7,500 clinics worldwide using its platform in 27 countries and 20 languages; the new funding will be used, in part, to keep expanding geographically, including in LATAM and APAC.
It will also be used to expand the company's commercial efforts to scale its global go-to-market activities and invest in additional R&D to expand the Glooko product offerings, as well as to increase adoption of Glooko's remote patient monitoring platform.
"Our growth in remote patient monitoring has expanded exponentially over the past year. Moving forward, we will continue to enhance our RPM platform capabilities, making it easier for healthcare providers and payers to leverage our platform to effectively monitor and treat patients remotely," said Johannesson.
In the short term, the next step for Glooko is to take all of those international clinics that adopted its platform during the pandemic and convert them into paying customers. In the long run, though, the company will begin expanding beyond diabetes and into additional therapy areas, including cardiovascular, kidney, liver and eye diseases, as well as behavioral health.
"Nearly 98 percent of people with type 2 diabetes have at least one comorbid condition and 90 percent have at least two comorbid conditions, so these are natural areas of growth for our platform."
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