The world’s largest and most powerful tech companies –Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) – are targeting an opportunity in health care that’s just too big to ignore – diabetes. Almost a third of the entire U.S. population – more than 100 million people in this country alone – are living with diabetes or are at high risk for the disease. Diabetes makes it difficult for the body to process sugar (glucose) and can lead to serious health issues and death. With $1 of every $4 of health care costs in the U.S. now spent on caring for people with diabetes, these tech giants are looking to snag a share of the multi-trillion-dollar global diabetes markets through innovation.
Managing the disease relies way too much on guesswork and variables – random finger pricks to test blood sugar before trying to accurately adjust insulin dosage is far from perfect science. Plus, a multiplicity of lifestyle choices, like food and exercise, can severely impact people with the disease. Technology is key to helping people with diabetes better manage their disease, and the tech giants are all exploring how they can bring new services and tools to market.
- Alphabet, through its Verily subsidiary, teamed with DexCom Inc. (NASDAQ: DXCM) to bring continuous monitoring hardware to market. DexCom users insert a sensor under the skin and, after the sensor is inserted, a transmitter is snapped into place allowing users to check their readings via a smartphone or watch.
- Amazon makes it easier for people to access their readings via the Alexa voice assistant and promotes blood sugar monitoring devices on its marketplace.
- Apple is working closely with other medical device makers like Dexcom to build integrations with consumer devices like Apple Watch and iPhone.
Tech continues to provide creative solutions to better manage chronic diseases like diabetes. Nemaura Medical Inc. (NASDAQ: NMRD) has developed sugarBEAT(R) – a wearable, non-invasive and flexible continuous glucose monitor patch designed to help people with diabetes and prediabetes manage their glucose levels. sugarBEAT(R) consists of a daily disposable adhesive skin patch connected to a rechargeable transmitter with a smartphone app displaying glucose readings at five-minute intervals for periods of up to 24 hours. Users don’t have to draw blood samples or prick their fingers multiples times each day and can wear the patch on whatever days they choose.
Other continuous glucose monitor devices on the market must be implanted under the skin. sugarBEAT(R) is the world’s first wearable and disposable monitor which offers the potential to radically change the way people manage their chronic disease conditions. Already cleared in the EU and FDA Pre Market Application (“PMA”) submitted, Nemaura’s patented skin surface blood monitoring technology has allowed the company to create additional products, which are in the pipeline. More information on its technology can be found at www.NemauraMedical.com.
Thank goodness, technology is delivering previously unimagined solutions to human frailties and the management of chronic diseases. However, for the record it’s not altruism that’s driving these tech companies, there’s a business opportunity here that’s just too damn big to ignore.
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