Glooko, Novo Nordisk team up on 'personalized digital services' for diabetics

Glooko and diabetes drug giant Novo Nordisk are teaming up to create “digital health solutions” to help people better manage their diabetes. The jointly developed and branded digital products will be based on Glooko’s mobile and web platforms and integrated with Novo’s Digital Health Platform.

Novo Nordisk will bring extensive diabetes knowledge and content to the table, while Glooko will contribute its technology, which is integrated with a range of diabetes and exercise devices, including blood glucose meters and continuous glucose monitors, said Glooko CEO Rick Altinger. The resulting products will be powered by Glooko, but will be jointly branded. These offerings will help diabetics adhere to their treatments and better manage their glucose and will also aid healthcare professionals to engage and manage their patients, according to a statement.

Altinger declined to provide further details about the products, but noted that the duo aims to help patients understand how individual lifestyle decisions may impact their diabetes. Glooko’s current offerings include its MeterSync app, which collects readings from disparate devices in a single platform. Last June, it unveiled its Advise app, which recognizes trends in individual patients’ daily management and makes appropriate therapy recommendations. And in September, Glooko boosted its reach when it merged with Sweden's Diasend to create a combined company covering 4,000 diabetes clinics in 23 countries.

Meanwhile, Novo’s Digital Health Platform is the product of the pharma’s partnership with IBM Watson. The new products will leverage IBM Watson’s data-crunching capabilities to make “meaningful sense” of diabetes datasets to help patients and providers make data-driven decisions more quickly.

A smaller and nimbler diabetes player, Glooko was “frankly a little nervous” when it was finalizing the details of the tie-up over the last six months, Altinger said. He said they were concerned the company might be slowed down by an older, larger and more traditional organization. But the pair is “executing and operating at high speed,” and Altinger is “quite comfortable” that they will deliver their first joint product this year.