J&J partners with, invests in WellDoc for real-time Type 2 diabetes management

BlueStar app--Courtesy of Welldoc

Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) has partnered with mobile health technology WellDoc to incorporate the latter's BlueStar diabetes management platform into J&J diabetes care company LifeScan's latest blood glucose monitor. The idea is to give Type 2 diabetes patients access to real-time mobile data and information intended to improve their health outcomes.

As part of the deal, J&J's venture group, Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC, have participated in a Series B financing for WellDoc. In December, the Baltimore-based startup had disclosed a $22 million Series B round led by existing investor Merck Global Health Innovation Fund with participation from Adage Capital Management, Excel Venture Management, Alexandria Venture Investments and Hudson River Capital Partners. Details of J&J's role in the financing were not disclosed.

"We are continuously working to empower diabetes patients by developing and integrating innovative technologies that can improve both daily experiences and long-term health," said Worldwide President of LifeScan Val Asbury in a statement. This "collaboration bridges our strong history serving diabetes patients and their healthcare team with WellDoc's innovative diabetes management platform that has been shown to improve health outcomes."

OneTouch Verio Flex blood glucose monitor--Courtesy of Johnson & Johnson

The partners will work to integrate LifeScan's newly launched OneTouch Verio Flex blood glucose monitor, which already has its own integrated Bluetooth capability to connect with its OneTouch Reveal mobile app, into WellDoc's BlueStar diabetes management platform and app. The startup noted that BlueStar is the first mobile prescription therapy approved by the FDA for Type 2 diabetes. 

In a clinical trial, WellDoc showed that over a 12-month period its diabetes management platform enabled patients to have a 1.9% decline in glycated hemoglobin, versus a control group with usual care who declined only 0.7% over that time. There are more than 21 million Type 2 diabetics in the U.S. with many inadequately monitoring or managing their blood sugar levels, which can lead to serious complications including blindness and amputation.

- here is the announcement