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consulting firm Mercer studied five companies
using Livongo and found that the program
brought blood glucose readings down about
seven percent, cut health care costs six percent
(compared with two percent for a control group
of diabetics not using Livongo) and reduced the
number of doctor and emergency room visits.
Digital therapeutics also can help create health
solutions that cut across different diseases,
Kendale says. His company recently added a
product to help monitor hypertension.
reimbursement and getting support from the
People respond to personalization in ads and
games so why not in how they battle diabetes?
Livongo, located in Mountain View, CA, offers a
wireless blood glucose meter. Instead of scribbling
readings on a log, the data zips to a cloud to be
analyzed. Livongo then offers advice, like a message
notifying the patient that their blood sugar is too
high, and recommending a 15-minute walk.
Livongo can offer personalized advice because
it has medical information about the user and
patients report how they are feeling along with
the readings. "This [diabetes management] is a
complicated topic so a 15-minute visit with a doctor is not enough information," says Kendale.
When patients have a very high or very low
reading, a diabetes educator calls them within
three minutes. "It's in-the-moment information
and support so consumers can make good decisions," he says. And patients can choose to have
family, friends or doctors be notified if they have
Livongo's diabetes program is covered by hundreds of self-insured employers. A study by the
That 60,000 mile track of small blood vessels in the
human body gets narrower and more rigid under
stress, causing the heart to pump harder and blood
pressure to be raised dangerously. RESPeRate is a
fitness plan for those blood vessels. Doctors commonly recommend drugs along with diet and exercise improvements for hypertension.
But pharmaceuticals have side effects, patients
sometimes skip medications and the drugs don't
always work well enough, says 2breathe CEO,
Gavish. Diet and exercise changes can be difficult
for some patients. His device is the only over-thecounter, non-drug treatment for blood pressure
cleared by the FDA. It helps users regulate
breathing by following musical tones they hear
and adapts to each person's breath patterns.
Hypertension patients use the $299 device for 15
minutes several days a week.
On average, users decreased their systolic blood
pressure by 14 points and diastolic by 18 points,
Gavish says, allowing some people to reduce or
eliminate prescription drugs. "Nobody likes to
modify their life," Gavish says. "Fifteen minutes of
listening to a melody is not modifying your life."
The device is so relaxing, he says, many initial
users fell asleep during the treatment. Voices
were added to wake up people if they fall asleep
before the 15 minutes is up, Gavish says, and a
second product called 2breathe was launched to
use tones for other users, to help them fall asleep.
WHEN PATIENTS HAVE A VERY HIGH OR
VERY LOW READING, A DIABETES EDUCATOR
CALLS THEM WITHIN THREE MINUTES.
I T I S I N N O VAT I O N