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this year. The device would measure a patient’s glucose levels, store the data, and use its insulin-dose software to analyze the data and, when needed, recommend dosage changes. While the software is being tested in the clinical trial, the firm’s planned device is not, he says.
Hygieia wants to raise $10 million in a Series A round of venture capital to complete its clinical trial and support the commercial launch of its technology, Bashan says. The firm says that it has already raised about $700,000 from angel investors. Last month it received a big endorsement by winning a $25,000 prize for being the top medical devices company in the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition in Ann Arbor. (Here’s more on the major business plan contest and the $500,000 grand-prize winner.)
Perhaps even more impressive are the people behind Hygieia. According to the firm’s website, two of its clinical advisors are Martin Abrahamson, the chief medical officer of the much revered Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, and Richard Bergenstal, who is president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association. The association provides guidelines for diabetes care for physicians around the country.
Still, insulin-dosage software has very little track record in the hands of patients. Even in Hygieia’s clinical trial, participants are supposed to get weekly calls from the study team, according to ClinicalTrials.gov. There are major competitors in the business of providing diabetes management technologies such as French firm Sanofi-Aventis and the Swiss healthcare giant Roche. There are also disease-management firms that offer telemedicine services and other programs for diabetics.
However, healthcare providers are searching for ways to improve care for diabetics without breaking the bank with more frequent visits between patients and doctors. Hygieia’s technology, though certainly not a panacea for the country’s diabetes epidemic, might offer a way to let some patients better manage their disease more or less on their own.
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