Memorandum

Tidepool opts to downsize, laying off 40% of team due to financial impact of COVID-19 – November 20, 2020

Ongoing pandemic creates financial challenges for non-profit; Tidepool’s Meet the Team page includes ~60 employees; Tidepool Loop “nearly there” to finish line

This morning, Tidepool Community Manager Chris Snider sent out a message to Tidepool users and constituents from Tidepool President and CEO Howard Look , announcing layoffs impacting 40% of the team. The difficult decision comes amidst the financial impact from COVID-19, which has similarly affected other diabetes non-profits, including JDRF, which also reduced its workforce meaningfully (from ~700 to ~400) in July. Tidepool’s Meet the Team page currently reflects ~60 employees; presumably, the layoffs will bring the headcount down to ~35-40. The page is full of both veterans and rising stars in diabetes who will undoubtedly remain valuable and impactful to the field both at Tidepool or elsewhere.

Despite the challenges of navigating the pandemic, Tidepool has continued to move quickly ahead on Tidepool Loop. Just last week, Tidepool announced completion of the human factors validation study for Tidepool Loop, one of the final steps before 510(k) submission to the FDA. In his message, Mr. Look wrote that Tidepool’s goal to bring Tidepool Loop to the finish line is “nearly there.” In response to the pandemic, Tidepool also launched a resource hub for diabetes telemedicine with articles for getting started with Tidepool and getting reimbursed for remote patient monitoring, as well as pre-drafted email templates for clinics to send to patients and guides and support for how patients can start uploading their data to clinicians through Tidepool. For now, it’s unclear how Tidepool’s priorities will be shifted from the layoffs.

Close Concerns’ Questions

  • Which of Tidepool’s ongoing and future projects will be most affected by the layoffs? How do the layoffs shift Tidepool’s priorities?

  • How much, if at all, will this affect submission and launch of Tidepool Loop?

  • To what degree has COVID-19 had on Tidepool’s grassroots fundraising?

  • To what degree will there be any re-structuring of the employees remaining on staff at Tidepool?

  • What has been the response to Tidepool’s telemedicine resource hub, so far? Has Tidepool seen an increase in use of its remote monitoring tools?

  • To what degree is Tidepool helping enable population health, as well as helping individuals? Might Tidepool help patients help each other increase Time in Range? Are there ways in which Tidepool could help practices help other practices? Could Tidepool help physician practices determine the practice “Time in Range,” which could help practices learn from each other?

--by Albert Cai and Kelly Close