WellDoc and J&J LifeScan finalize commercial partnership, plan to launch integrated system by the end of 2016 – September 21, 2016

Following the initial partnership news in March, WellDoc and J&J LifeScan announced a “finalized” commercial partnership agreement last week. We confirmed with WellDoc that an integrated system will launch by the end of 2016 that combines the BlueStar mobile app (Android, iOS) with LifeScan’s OneTouch Verio Flex BGM and paired Reveal app (Android, iOS). It’s still not clear what the integration will actually look like (e.g., two side-by-side apps vs. a single integrated app), what the business model will look like (e.g., traditional BGM vs. WellDoc’s prescribed-as-a-drug model vs. something else?), or how the product will be branded (e.g., “LifeScan Verio powered BlueStar”?). Still, we’re very glad to see this product will launch quite soon – WellDoc has long needed commercial scale to bring BlueStar to more patients/HCPs, while J&J could use the clinically proven software to enhance the value of its BGM with real-time feedback and education. See our very detailed coverage from March for more on this partnership, which WellDoc CEO Kevin McRaith characterized as “a home run” for the company and critical to its expansion strategy. Separately, WellDoc announced on Tuesday that former US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Chief Information Officer Frank Baitman will serve as a strategic advisor to the company. His previous IT, regulatory, and payer experience from many sectors (HHS, FDA, Social Security) will be key as WellDoc scales BlueStar, work with more payers, and tries to fit a new digital health product into providers’ clinical workflow.