A shakeup in digital diabetes care

With $5.7B invested over the last 10 years, diabetes care is one of the most funded areas in digital health startup innovation and a top U.S. healthcare priority. An estimated 38M Americans have diabetes, contributing $413B to national healthcare spend annually.

Yet, even mainstay digital health areas like diabetes care have shakeup periods. Last week, a study published by the Peterson Health Technology Institute (PHTI) suggested that several leading digital diabetes programs in market were cost-inefficient and fell short of clinically meaningful outcomes. Not too long before, publicly-traded cardiometabolic prescription digital therapeutics company Better Therapeutics announced it was delisting and looking for strategic alternatives to wind down the business—another hit to digital diabetes care market confidence.

It’s worth noting that both stories have their nuances. PHTI’s study only focused on a subset of virtual diabetes companies, and some startup leaders are pushing back on the report’s methodology or highlighting their promising clinical results. As a publicly-traded company, Better Therapeutics faced headwinds related to its SPAC exit and prescription reimbursement strategy. That said, both announcements are refocusing attention on clinical rigor and cost management in digital diabetes care innovation—continuing an important mindset shift that extends beyond just this therapeutic area.


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