Livongo unveils cellular-enabled blood pressure monitoring, mobile redesign

Taking the main stage at Health 2.0, Livongo's Chief Product Officer Amar Kendale said that the new offerings will help patients manage care more comfortably at home.
By Dave Muoio
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Today at Health 2.0 in Santa Clara, California, chronic disease management platform Livongo announced the launch of what it says is the US’s first cellular-enabled blood pressure monitoring system.

The company said during a presentation that the system will allow users to take and report their blood pressure at home, which may offer more accurate readings for those who experience anxiety in a provider setting. In addition, the new capability also permits for more timely digital behavior alerts and messaging from Livongo coaches, which Amar Kendale, chief product officer for Livongo, said will drive better outcomes.

“How are [our users] handling conditions like diabetes and hypertension? What they told us, as you might expect, is that they’re overwhelmed,” Kendale said on Health 2.0’s main stage.  “They’re stressed out, and this shows up in every aspect of managing a condition. When a patient goes to their doctor, for example, ‘white coat syndrome’ is a very common factor that can lead to overprescription of medication. So, there’s so much to say for bringing healthcare home, bringing technology to the more controlled [environment] a person lives in every day, and we really took that approach to heart when we were designing Livongo for hypertension.”

The company also announced a redesign of their platform’s mobile experience. The goal, Kendale said, was to limit the app’s complexity so that users are not overwhelmed by the number of features they are presented with. On the other hand, the software now passively incorporates additional data streams from the platform’s various devices.

“Passive is the key, the idea here being that the less we’re asking our members, our users, to do, the more data we’re going to get,” he said. “The flow for us is really starting to become very clear. It’s the friction up front of getting the data in, the data turning into trends, the trends turning into patterns, and the patterns turning into insights. Without that entire chain, we can’t get to outcomes.”

Livongo, which enjoyed a $105 million Series E funding round earlier this year, has been pushing its platform toward more comprehensive health monitoring. Originally designed for diabetes, the company made the move into cardiovascular health last year and continues to push toward more comprehensive chronic disease management with its new offerings.

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