Livongo Health, the digital health company best known for its diabetes care management platform, has raised $44.5 million in a Series C financing round that will allow it to expand into other chronic conditions.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Livongo is the latest venture of former Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman, who launched the company in 2014. The company combines a sophisticated cellular glucometer, or blood sugar monitor, with a cloud-based platform that can analyze blood glucose readings and provide feedback to patients.
The company has grown to serve 50 large clients, including self-insured employers, health plans and health systems, and 40,000 users.
But diabetes is just the beginning for Livongo, which now plans to expand into other disease indicators. “We will build or buy other solutions that will run on our platform,” Tullman said.
Possible areas of focus for the company include medication adherence, hypertension and depression, said Tullman, who noted that Livongo will unveil more details about its strategy over the next six months.
Livongo's platform includes both a technology component and a coaching component. When patients check their blood sugar, the readings are automatically uploaded online. Based on that data, patients receive tips for managing their diabetes. They also can have the program notify their family members when readings are not in the target range. And if they need to talk to a health professional, Livongo has certified diabetes educators available around the clock.
“You can't go to a doctor every time you have a question about disease … 99.9% of the time you're on your own,” Tullman said. “When you know your blood sugar is high or low, your phone rings and it's us. People don't feel alone anymore.”
The idea that medical devices should not only collect data but also interpret it and provide feedback has been quickly gaining ground. The care management plans of the future will combine data analytics to identify high-risk patients with real-time tools to help them stay healthy, said Richard Cramer, a principal in the healthcare advisory practice at EY.
Medtronic and IBM have partnered for the past year on integrating a Medtronic diabetes device with IBM Watson's care management platform. The sensor measures interstitial fluid to predict episodes of hypoglycemia, while patients can get alerts via smartphone when their risk is elevated.
Livongo's fundraising comes amid a tighter financing environment for digital health companies, which has raised the bar for many entrepreneurs. But Tullman noted that companies demonstrating sales growth and clinical results have still been able to raise capital.
Investors participating in the company's financing round include the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, the investment arm of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Sapphire Venture, Zaffre Investments and other funds.
Livongo previously raised a total of $30 million in two earlier investment rounds.