Living with a chronic condition like diabetes isn’t easy. Unlike a broken bone or something necessitating a minor procedure, management is a daily struggle.
But, instead of letting diabetes run your life, you can take charge and learn to control and manage your chronic condition more successfully. That’s exactly what Livongo Health hopes to facilitate.
In a recent funding round led by General Catalyst and Kinnevik, Livongo Health has managed to raise an additional $52.5 million which they hope to use to expand into international markets and grow their business.
Their product is a blood sugar monitor which uses a cellular connection to send the information from your blood sugar readings to Livongo Health’s monitoring services. With the raised funds, the company’s goal is to start providing a similar service for other chronic conditions.
How Does Livongo Health Help You Manage Diabetes?
Livongo is a digital health company focused on making life better for people who suffer from chronic conditions. Their flagship products, Livongo Meter and Livongo Coaching, represent a new approach to diabetes management.
After a blood sugar reading with their meter, the data is sent to Livongo Health and followed up by a personalized message with information to help manage your diabetes effectively. A reading that’s slightly out of normal ranges will trigger a recommendation such as drinking a glass of juice, taking a walk, or having a snack. If your reading shows very high or very low values, a specialist will call you to walk you through what to do next.
If you provide the meter with additional information such as what you ate for a particular meal or how you feel, the received message will contain even more contextual information to help you understand the readings.
Their coaching program, on the other hand, provides around the clock support from certified diabetes experts. You can communicate with a coach by phone, email, text, or mobile app and they can answer all your diabetes questions related to nutrition or lifestyle changes.
What Makes Livongo Health Stand Out From The Competition?
Livongo Health is not the first company to tackle diabetes management. There are smart socks that monitor the temperature of your feet and alert you when foot injury risk increases as well as a mobile app where you log your daily activity which then helps you understand how food, insulin, and your activity influence glucose levels.
But what makes Livongo stand out is their personalized 24/7/365 coaching team that not only provides you with answers to all your diabetes-related questions but also guides you through critical moments. A big selling point for the company is the 90-second response time from the coaches after a reading has gone through.
Their app can also send notifications to your loved ones, which helps them stay in the loop. When you consider all these factors, it’s easy to see how a personal touch can make a big difference for a person living with a chronic condition that may need immediate guidance when symptoms worsen or become troublesome.
Livongo Health’s customers are also entitled to free strips, and their data is securely stored on the company’s website to make it easily accessible and to reduce the barrier for people who might be reluctant to use their meter.
Can Livongo Health Continue to Grow?
Livongo Health has a great vision and an ambitious plan. They fully understand that people who suffer from diabetes also suffer from other chronic conditions and their mission is to empower individuals to take control of their health and their life at the same time.
Livongo Health is already working on partnerships with self-insured employers and pharmacy benefit providers such as Voluntis which offers Livongo for Diabetes program with their Insulia® device. Voluntis’ device and app have been cleared by the FDA and provide basal insulin dose recommendations for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Along with the latest funding received, the company has definite growth potential and the means to make their vision come to life.
Their only challenge so far lies in the ability to ensure there are enough coaches to respond and react to each and every customer. While the coaches are trained to recognize the high-priority patients and act accordingly, the personal response that Livongo Health provides could quickly get out of hand and fail to meet the demands of their customers.
However, the company’s record so far shows that they have the needed know-how to distribute the coaches evenly and ensure customers who need the support the most, get it in a timely manner. If they continue to employ their current methods, Livongo Health may very well become a dominant player in chronic condition management.
Brenda Barron is a writer from Southern California specializing in technology and business. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her outdoors with her family or knitting.
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