DarioHealth (Nasdaq: DRIO) is poised to change how patients monitor chronic conditions. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least one chronic condition, such as heart disease and stroke, cancer, or diabetes, affects six out of ten Americans. If COVID-19 was the pandemic of 2020, chronic diseases are the epidemics of the 21st century. Such long-lasting pathologies require long-lasting surveillance, and Digital Health is the ideal technology for such monitoring.
With 74 percent of Americans being overweight, type II diabetes spreads like wildfire in the country. Blood glucose levels need to be monitored daily to avoid life-threatening consequences. That is where DarioHealth comes into play.
We interviewed Rick Anderson, DarioHealth President and General Manager North America, and his insights were striking. Bear with us to know more about using technology to keep your chronic diseases on a tight leash.
A brief history of DarioHealth
Founded in 2011 by Dr. Oren Fuerst, a well-known, respected, and veteran of the Digital Health revolution, the company initially aimed at “helping people live better.” Its proprietary technologies combine handheld medical devices and smart algorithms that help patients make healthier choices based on real-time analyses.
DarioHealth combines medical hardware with its proprietary Machine Learning platform. The company business model is to offer behavioral changes solutions to both patients and employers. Metabolic syndromes’ consequences are not only costly for patients. The economy also suffers from them. In 2016, the CDC conducted a study to evaluate the direct financial losses for employers related to employees affected by chronic conditions. The annual expenses of absenteeism due to hypertension, diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity, and obesity were more than $2 billion per ailment.
A multi-faceted data-driven company
Contrary to telehealth, digital health does not have any analog equivalent. Hence, its uniqueness and growth potential.
According to Rick Anderson, Digital Health offers several key points that will contribute to its continuous development and adoption:
- Transmitting the data collected by a connected medical device, such as Dario’s Smart Blood Glucose Monitoring System, does not require the synchronous transmission of the information. Patients do not have to worry about the need for a high-speed internet connection. They can check their blood sugar level on the fly without any internet access and upload the data in a cafe nearby or use their smartphone. This is a critical difference to telehealth, which requires a stable flow of information and will only become a reality once the 5G network is widely spread.
- Digital Health occurs between providers visits and comes as an additional factor to standard care. Knowledge is power, and data is the cornerstone of the Digital Health world. DarioHealth’s platform aims at empowering patients and helping them make the necessary behavioral changes needed to improve their overall health and better manage their chronic conditions, ultimately benefiting society.
- Germany is at the forefront of reimbursement when it comes to digital health. Recently, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services suggested new codes to cover Remote Patient Monitoring. Thus, opening the doors to new value-based payment approaches such as the Machine Learning-based platform. If patient engagement is key to health, DarioHealth’s platform offers the technology to drive health-beneficial behavioral changes.
From Diabetes to Musculoskeletal Disorders: A holistic approach to Digital Health
The success of DarioHealth started with the patient’s blood glucose monitoring, now available at Walmart, and expanded to other chronic conditions up to the company’s recent move into Musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders.
More than just an expansion in other therapeutic areas, the Dario business model has also evolved.
Diabetes Remote Management as the first step toward Behavioral Health Monitoring
Initially, a pure B2C company, DarioHealth, introduced its smart all-in-one blood glucose monitor that automatically synchronized the data with an iOS or Android smartphone and allowed patients suffering from type 2 diabetes to better manage their condition and insulin needs.
DarioHealth gradually moved to a holistic health management platform including hypertension, weight management, MSK disorders, and even behavioral health.
DarioMove is DarioHealth’s new platform to ease Musculoskeletal Disorders
The company recently announced the launch of its latest Machine Learning based platform: DarioMove. The new product comes after DarioHealth announced the acquisition of Upright Technologies in January 2021, a company specializing in MSK disorders.
MSK disorders manifest in many different ways, from back pain to sciatica, neck pain up to chronic arthritis conditions. Many of these disorders originate at the workplace without differentiating between blue or white-collar workers.
The CDC estimates that half of Americans suffer from MSK pain-related disorder. These troubles not only impair the overall quality of life of the patients, but the costs for the companies and society are enormous. MSK disorders account for one-third of all workers’ compensation costs, resulting in more than 20 billion per year.
DarioHealth’s approach uses the Upright Go S, a wearable sensor worn on the upper back (it adheres to the skin or can be attached to a necklace) that helps improve posture, sitting position and ultimately reduces MSK pain. Fifty-four percent of over 57,000 users reported a decrease in back pain when using this smart pendant.
Combined with the DarioMove platform, users can access personalized advice from coaches or physical therapists to improve their posture and decrease discomfort and pain.
Mainly aimed at B2B consumers, the move of DarioHealth into the MSK space represents the natural evolution of the company that positions itself as a Technology Agnostic Behavioral Health platform.
What about DarioHealth’s future avenues?
The future appears bright for DarioHealth. From a pure B2C provider of remote monitoring solutions, the company is opening up to new segments. It is on a path to becoming a leading B2B provider of digital health platforms.
Companies all aim at reducing absenteeism and improving the overall health of their staff. The collaboration of DarioHealth with WorkPlace Options that offer wellbeing solutions to 70 million employees spread over 116,000 enterprises in more than 200 countries, proves that digital health is becoming a medium of choice to improve healthcare at the workplace.
Positioning itself as a behavioral health IT company, one of the company’s key strengths lies in its versatile AI-based platform that will make the most of the collected data to improve the health of the users at home or work.
Behavioral change is not an easy path to follow. Still, the health benefits can be huge (losing just 10 pounds is sometimes enough to reverse pre-diabetes), and DarioHealth is a company that may well shape how digital health will become part of our daily life and wellness routine.