Investment to help EosHealth launch personal diabetes management device

From the mHealthNews archive
By Eric Wicklund

The developer of an innovative diabetes management platform who's about to unveil an all-in-one glucometer and message center is getting a significant investment from former Allscripts executives Glen Tullman and Lee Shapiro.

Tullman and Shapiro, who head the Chicago-based 7wire Ventures investment group, have announced five strategic investments for 2013. At the top of that list is EosHealth, a Houston-based company that will soon be marketing a mobile device that takes blood glucose readings and offers a real-time connection to a diabetes nurse.

"We're taking the tools and resources available for people with diabetes and transforming the way they manage their health," said Kim Angelides, PhD, the company's founder, in an exclusive interview with mHealthNews. "We want to transform their everyday glucometer into a hub" that dispenses information about diet, exercise, weight management and other diabetes-related wellness issues.

Angelides, who founded Diabetes America in 2005, says EosHealth focuses on putting people in control of their own healthcare. Since its launch in 2008, the company has offered round-the-clock management plans, accessible by phone, web, mobile devices or kiosks, for diabetes, women's health, weight management and healthy living.  Among its many clients are Office Depot, Sitel, Arizona state employees and city employees in Seattle and Anaheim.

The programs are offered without co-pays or deductibles, Angelides said.

"Why introduce a barrier to people who already face barriers?" asked Angelides, who points out that one ER visit costs upwards of $9,000 "and produces a lot of trauma and a lack of productivity."

"That's where the ROI comes from," he said.

Tullman and Shapiro, who both resigned from Allscripts in 2012 in a management shakeup, have been investing together for nearly two decades. They launched 7wire Ventures to focus on mobile, cloud and consumer demand in health and education.

"Our current investment portfolio reflects our vision to use the power of mobility, connected devices, the cloud and sophisticated analytics to further advance industries like healthcare and education," said Tullman, who recently announced the launch of his own mHealth company, ZestHealth, in a press release.

Tullman also has a personal connection with EosHealth's target audience. He's very active in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, for which he serves on the International Board of Directors and on the Artificial Pancreas Project, and has raised millions of dollars to fight the chronic disease, which affects both a son and a niece.

Angelides said bringing Tullman and Shapiro onto the company's board of directors "puts us on the right path." And that path leads next to the iPhone-sized mobile medical device that is now going through the FDA review process.

The InTouch Blood Glucose Monitor and Global Health Coach "is not just a glucometer or a widget," Angelides said. "It's a whole platform." Aside from being used as a blood glucose monitor, it wirelessly transmits readings to diabetes educators, who can instantly send messages back to the user if the reading prompts an alert. That data is also sent on to the user's personal physician.

"It's really a two-way gateway," Angelides said. "It continually builds your personal profile. It continually gets better (as more data is added) and it continually gets to know you, so that the messages you receive are more targeted and personal."

Angelides said the company hopes to expand its platform to push personal diabetes education into the physician's office. He also wants to branch out into other chronic conditions that could benefit from this type of health management program.

Aside from EosHealth, the other healthcare companies targeted by 7wire Ventures for investment are WiserTogether, which has developed an online tool "to match patients with treatments based on data and analytics of their preferences, financial position and medical situation," and the Abundant Ventures Health Innovation Accelerator, an incubator focused on service-based healthcare companies. Two companies focused on education technology, digedu and Educational Funding Partners, are also receiving investment funding.

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