Medtronic partners with LA startup for diabetes, chronic disease management tools

Courtesy of Canary Health

Medtronic is picking up a whole line of chronic disease management programs to market from a new partnership with Canary Health. The devices giant anticipates that the programs, which encourage and direct patients toward better self-care, will be reimbursable--which can be a tough hurdle for software-based approaches to disease.

The partners anticipate that the Medtronic ($MDT) relationship will help to push Canary's Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to 22 million diabetics in the U.S., as well as another 86 million who are at risk for developing diabetes. DPP has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as an evidence-based approach that can effectively be used to prevent diabetes.

Under the deal, Medtronic becomes a reseller and distributor of all of the chronic disease self-management programs from the Los Angeles, CA-based startup. Health services are a priority for Medtronic; it added a dedicated unit for it a few years ago. It's a way for it to diversify out of but simultaneously complement its massive device portfolio. It's done several services-oriented deals, including one last spring to buy Netherlands' diabetes and research clinic Diabeter.

The partners also plan to develop additional solutions based on Medtronic's devices, services and infrastructure and Canary's behavior change programs, design expertise and user engagement experience. The deal marks "the addition of Canary Health's well-established and reimbursable self-management programs to our portfolio of diabetes management solutions," said President of Diabetes Service and Solutions at Medtronic Annette Brüls in a statement.

"This new relationship with Canary Health enables us to offer healthcare organizations broader, deeper and more holistic diabetes management solutions that improve clinical outcomes and bend the cost curve as we pursue value-based healthcare models," she added.

Canary claims its programs result in reduced visits to physicians and emergency departments, fewer days in the hospital and less hospitalization. It reports a return-on-investment (ROI) based on savings of as much as $1,000 per patient.

Its year-long diabetes program focuses on lifestyle change and weight loss interventions. It offers goal setting, planning and tracking as well as social interaction and personal health coaching. The company claims its program is effective in improving a number of risk factors and problems related to diabetes including weight and A1C levels.

"We are proud to partner with Medtronic to address a broader spectrum of the diabetes epidemic with our DPP and condition self-management programs," said Canary Health President and CEO Adam Kaufman. "Given the consistently significant clinical and financial returns we've seen across all of our self-management programs, we strongly believe that providing self-management support for chronic diseases is one of the most critical steps the healthcare industry can take in delivering value-based care."

- here is the announcement