WellDoc picks new board to help further commercialization of BlueStar

By Brian Dolan
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WellDoc BlueStarBaltimore, Maryland-based mobile health company WellDoc announced a new board of directors this week to help the company further commercialize its recently launched BlueStar product. The new board members include two just retired PricewaterhouseCoopers executives and a Washington insider. Up until now WellDoc's board has largely consisted of the company's own management team, but the new board will continue to include the company's founder and CEO Ryan Sysko and its president and COO Anand Iyer. The new board members, which officially joined over the course of the past month, are Dr. David Levy, Terry Lierman, Donald Almeida and Michael Greenebaum.

WellDoc's offering BlueStar provides real-time motivational, behavioral and educational coaching for diabetes management via mobile phones and other devices. It includes smart blood glucose testing, healthy diet and exercise choices, medication adherence, and quality standards of care such as A1c tests, foot exams, and blood pressure and lipid levels.

Sysko told MobiHealthNews in an interview that WellDoc took the same multidisciplinary approach to forming its new board that it did when putting together its management team.

Dr. David Levy, who retired from PwC earlier this summer, was the firm's Global Healthcare Leader. Mobile health became an important focus area for PwC under Levy's leadership, especially its potential in emerging markets. He's also an epidemiologist who started and sold one of the early disease management companies, Franklin Health, which eventually ended up as a part of Alere.

Terry Lierman has held a number of positions in DC, but perhaps most notably served as Chief of Staff to the House of Representatives Majority Leader and Democratic Whip Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD). Lierman will be particularly helpful to WellDoc as it continues to navigate the government -- for regulatory concerns, legislative actions, and as a potential customer.

Don Almeida also recently retired from PwC where he served as a Vice Chairman. During his 30 years at PwC he helped take a number of companies public, which Sysko told MobiHealthNews is not in WellDoc's near future, but Tierman can help the company take the steps necessary to get WellDoc on the right path toward an eventual IPO.

Michael Greenebaum is taking over his father, Stuart's, position on WellDoc's board. Stuart Greenebaum has been a longtime investor and advisor to the company but his stepping down for health reasons.

While these new additions to WellDoc's board of directors came together in the past month, the company is also formally announcing its advisory board this week, too. The advisory board includes Dr. Michael Stocker, who is Chairman of the Board of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC); Rt. Hon. Alan Milburn, who served under Prime Minister Tony Blair in the UK as Secretary of State for Health; Thomas Watkins, who is president and CEO of Human Genome Sciences; and Christopher Rogers, who co-founded Nextel Communications, which sold to Sprint for $35 billion.

"WellDoc has been really fortunate to have the opportunity to fund the company through angel investment," WellDoc's Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer Chris Bergstrom told MobiHealthNews. "That has allowed us to find uniquely attractive people who are passionate about getting involved in a company with their time and their money [as opposed to having to] go down a venture path where maybe the venture team brings in advisors of their own choosing. We have found our path to be phenomenal."

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