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The developer of a mobile blood glucose monitor for diabetics that automatically sends real-time data back to caregivers has landed a significant investment.
Telcare has announced the securing of $25.5 million in Series B equity funding, led by Sequoia Capital of Menlo Park, Calif., and including funds from Qualcomm, an existing investor, through its Qualcomm Life Fund. Company officials say the money will be used to fund marketing and sales efforts, research and development initiatives and ongoing operations.
The investment positions Bethesda, Md.-based Telcare as a strong presence in the busy diabetes management market, which has to deal with questions of enforcing compliance. By automating the management process, company officials say compliance will be that much easier for otherwise-reluctant or busy diabetics, and clinical outcomes will show improvement.
“We are thrilled that Sequoia has decided to support the growth of our enterprise, given its long history of selecting winning technologies in life sciences, information technology and consumer products,” said Jonathan Javitt, Telcare’s CEO and vice chairman, in a press release. “Sequoia and Qualcomm, Inc., our other institutional investor in this round, share our belief that great companies succeed by transforming the lives of the people they serve. The testimonials on our website about our products from people with diabetes, their physicians and their loved ones, tell us that we are on the right track.”
“With the closing of this transaction, Telcare is now well positioned to grow our business, provide a great experience to our customers and execute on our strategic vision,” added John Dwyer, Telcare’s chairman, in the release.
This past February, Telcare unveiled the Telcare BDM, a cellular-enabled blood-glucose monitor that automatically transmits blood glucose readings to a care management server, taking the job of reporting out of the hands of the patient. The wireless connection between patient and caregiver is designed to ensure that the caregiver has immediate and accurate data on which to take clinical action. The company then launched the MyTelcare Diabetes Pal, a free app that syncs the patient’s blood glucose meter with his or her iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and sends that data to caregivers. The data is fed into a search engine that can identify trends based on time of day, prescription adherence, target zones and before and after meals and activities.
While the app allows for a physician-optimized report within five seconds of download, the data stored on www.mytelcare.com, the company’s HIPAA-compliant cloud server, can also be accessed by family members and others involved in a diabetic’s care. This is especially useful to parents of diabetic children and caregivers for elderly diabetics.
In an interview earlier his year, Javitt said Telcare is well positioned for the compliance-related technology market, which can impact more than 100 million "addressable patients with diabetes" globally (28 million of which live in the United States). Current global sales for diabetes testing solutions top $12 billion, while estimates by U.S. insurers indicate improved compliance by diabetic patients can save upwards of $4,000 per person per year.
Officials say a 10 percent improvement in a diabetic’s compliance with blood-sugar monitoring – in other words, ensuring that blood-sugar readings fall within an accepted range – reduces the chances of complications (including stroke, heart problems, retinal hemorrhage and amputation) by 37 percent.
“The application of mobile technology is transforming healthcare, and Telcare is uniquely positioned to materially improve the management of diabetes with its wireless glucose monitoring system. We are pleased to be partnering with management,” said Scott Carter, of Sequoia Capital, in the press release.
“Telcare’s solution leverages the broad coverage of mobile networks and the convenience of cellular technology to empower individuals to better manage their conditions through professional supervision and/or family members’ support,” added Jack Young, director of Qualcomm Ventures.
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