Livongo and Voluntis announced a partnership today to bring the Insulia basal insulin titration app to Livongo members with type 2 diabetes. The Voluntis app was FDA cleared in December and expected to launch in 1H17 in the US, and this partnership will combine it with Livongo’s cellular enabled meter and team of certified diabetes educators. The announcement mentions that Insulia will launch “throughout the United States in 2017,” less specific than the previous “1H17” launch timing. Integration details are unclear, but perhaps Livongo BGM readings will be sent to the cloud (via cellular), imported into Insulia automatically, and then drive dose recommendations based on parameters set by the provider. (In Europe, Voluntis supports Sanofi and Roche connected BGMs.) Livongo’s CDEs will be able to leverage information collected from Insulia to “further optimize their recommendations and insights,” suggesting some of the Insulia data will also flow back to Livongo – what an excellent advantage for Livongo! Insulia is a prescribed app, but we’re not sure how that will come to market in combination with Livongo’s BGM. Will the products be bundled and sold together directly to payers, health systems, and employers? Will providers prescribe the joint Livongo/Insulia product? Or will the commercialization be separate, with Livongo simply feeding data into Insulia as an integrated device? We’re glad to see all the recent focus on insulin titration, since it is an addressable problem (and it’s time to start addressing it with a slew of different approaches) and one that could make a tremendous difference for patients. It will be fascinating to watch the business models that develop around these solutions – who will pay for them? Will patients and providers follow the recommendations? How quickly will the FDA clear other products, including basal-bolus options? See our deep dive on Voluntis’ Insulia from December, including pictures of the app.
-- by Adam Brown and Kelly Close