Will Samsung tap Glooko for S Health?

By Jonah Comstock
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Glooko AndroidGlooko has raised $7 million from Samsung Ventures and Lifeforce Ventures, as well as existing investors including The Social + Capital Partnership, Sundeep Madra and Yogen Dalal. This is Glooko's third funding raise and its largest to date; it brings the company's total funding to $11.5 million, including a $1 million seed round and a $3.5 million round last year.

The company says it will use the funds to "focus on enabling predictive diabetes care by delivering patient data and decision-making algorithms to health providers and payer groups." It also noted, in a statement, that the Samsung Venture investment has strategic value as well.

The investment move from Samsung is particularly interesting given two other recent pieces of news: Glooko's recent expansion into Android compatibility, and Samsung's December FDA clearance for S Health, which likely allowed the mobile company to connect its app to additional medical devices. From the confluence of the investment with those two items, it seems likely that diabetes management via Glooko will be part of Samsung's built-in S Health app in the future, a suggestion supported by Glooko CEO Rick Altinger's statement on the raise.

"Over the last two years, Glooko has built a diabetes management infrastructure bent on liberating blood glucose data from glucose meters and making it accessible to patients and clinicians,” he said. “Our next steps are to scale Glooko’s system to global accessibility and to add a layer of analytics and messaging capable of making therapeutic recommendations for diabetes management. The investors who have contributed to this round will help us achieve these goals.”

Altinger told MobiHealthNews in September that the Android launch was partly a way into international markets for the company.  He said Glooko recently signed an agreement with an international distributor to get Glooko products into the Middle East and Asia, areas where diabetes is prevalent.

“We’re highlighting the international numbers here because Android has over 50 percent market penetration in the US, but in Europe it’s 65 percent,” he said at the time. “So Android is especially important outside the US.”

Glooko is a natural partner if Samsung is getting into the diabetes management game, because rather than using its own meter, Glooko makes a cable that can connect to a variety of different commercially available meters customers might already be using. Ten out of the 16 Android phones and tablets with which Glooko is currently compatible are Samsung devices.