Best practices in digital diabetes partnerships are shaping the future of digital therapeutics

Partnership deals have become increasingly important for new business strategies in digital therapeutics. Companies looking to understand how to reap the benefits of collaboration should pay attention to best practices in the digital diabetes segment. Thanks to these deals, leading mobile diabetes competitors are gaining ground by expanding service offerings, technologies, and channels for commercialization.

With increasing deals each year among top industry players, partnerships are strongly driving change in all areas of digital therapeutics. Understanding how this is unfolding in the context of the COVID-19 crisis is challenging. However, the significant performance of the digital diabetes segment gives key insights on how this is happening, and which lessons the industry can learn from it. Despite current challenges, the future of digital therapeutics will be dictated by how well companies adapt to the needs of their users in challenging times.

With more than 7 million of monthly active users and around 2000 apps, the digital diabetes market is a source of best practices when it comes to user retention and service offering strategy. Partnerships agreements are a significant reason of success for competitors seeking to enlarge their presence and venture into new markets. Top digital diabetes companies — Livongo, Omada, Dario Health, One Drop, mySugr and Health2Sync — are leaders in innovation and user-centered developments for multiple areas of chronic conditions. They do so most prominently in the following areas:

  • Service expansion: Adding new service offerings to traditional condition management (coaching, telehealth, and behavioral programs among others).
  • Technological capacity and connectivity: Syncing with new devices and increasing data collection, management, and security.
  • Commercialization: Reaching larger audience by finding new ways to promote and commercialize products.

Leading digital diabetes companies are expanding their services to grow user retention and increase payer base. They are reacting to market’s demands by complementing traditional diabetes management services with additional in-app features. Key competitors on the diabetes segment are signing deals in this direction to offer a holistic approach for people living with diabetes.

For instance, in September of 2019, Livongo partnered with MD Live and Doctors on Demand launching a new telehealth service through their platforms. Service expansion seems to pay off as Livongo reports strong growth over the last years reaching 170M in 2019. Users are becoming more attracted to well-rounded go-to options that connects them with online communities, coaching services, and telehealth services all in one screen.

Agreements adding new technology capacity and data management are another a relevant trend in the diabetes segment. Top companies are signing agreements to expand connectivity with new devices and make use of data integration to improve internal systems. In September 2019, Dario Health gave users a new alternative to medication intake by launching a collaboration with Biopharm‘s smart insulin inhaler device.

In contrast, other companies are taking steady steps to boost their data integration and security policies. For instance, early in 2019, Health2Sync launched a partnership with CTBC Bank and Bitmark to build the first diabetes blockchain database. This new data trust is at the core of the company´s growth strategy, and they are now seeking to increase mobile and cloud analytics based on secured access to patients’ medical records.

A third trend in mobile diabetes partnerships are business deals and commercialization expansions. Top competitors are signing new deals to participate in new markets and increase their presence in established ones. In March of last year, Dario Health partnered with Walmart and Better Living Now, expanding the distribution channels of their products in the U.S.

One Drop followed by signing an agreement with OneDigital bringing diabetes management to employers in North America. In March 2019, Health2Sync also launched a collaboration with Novo Nordisk to bring diabetes health into Japan. These competitors are engaging in these deals with good results so far. These deals will become more and more common as companies start to look for new market entries and expand their user base.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, partnerships deals will continue to accelerate growth of digital therapeutics solutions. The industry should turn into the diabetes market segment to understand how top competitors are reaping the benefits of collaboration deals. Yet companies must be aware of their business context and reflect when and where collaborations bring expected returns.

To survive these critical times, companies should engage with potential partners to expand their technological capacities and services, as well as finding new ways to commercialize their products. This is where collaboration can really add value to foster sustained growth despite challenging times.

For more information download the latest free whitepaper on breaking points and success factors of digital health partnerships.

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