Who are the digital diabetes market players that transform the diabetes industry?

The digital diabetes solutions market is growing rapidly and expected to reach $742M by 2022, at a CAGR of 50%. The major pharmaceutical players already have a stake in this development and are present in the two foremost segments of the industry: the connected devices and the app services businesses. However, growth is also seen in complementary segments where smaller and new players have found their own niches and are growing strongly.

 

Being a new sector, the industry landscape is still evolving, and the traditional players are now looking for specialist companies to partner with. If you are a business looking to profit from this growth, it pays to understand the industry map to know where you can venture in based on your own strengths.

There is immense room for growth for all types of market participants, keeping in mind that only about 5% of the addressable market has been introduced to the existing digital solutions (as per the most recent edition of R2G’s Digital Diabetes Care Market report).

 

FACTORS INFLUENCING THE GROWTH OF THE SECTOR

Digital diabetes solutions which started as ancillary services have now evolved into an industry in their own. Some of the factors which have contributed to the success of the digital diabetes market are:

  • Convenient substitutes
  • Measurability of success
  • Endorsement from insurers
  • Value added services such as analytics and coaching
  • Increased awareness about the solutions

 

DIGITAL DIABETES INDUSTRY LANDSCAPE

Looking at the digital diabetes ecosystem as it exists today, the market can be divided into seven segments, namely:

  1. Connected devices manufacturers,
  2. App service providers,
  3. Data management solutions providers,
  4. Value-enhancing services providers,
  5. HCP solutions providers,
  6. Ecosystem providers or data integrators, and
  7. Other service providers.

 

A snapshot of the industry landscape is provided below.

Digital Diabetes Industry is growing quickly and attracting new niche players

 

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT MARKET SEGMENTS?

DEVICE MANUFACTURERS

The connected device manufacturers segment comprises the producers of the major device types which help to better manage diabetes through a digital solution. Currently, there are connected Blood Glucose Meters (BGMs), Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) and Insulin pens, among other devices, which are directly connected to an app, mostly through Bluetooth, and transfer all the user data and readings to the users’ smartphones and cloud-based accounts. The manufacturers of these connected devices continue to be the highest revenue generators. However, there is likely to be a gradual shift towards service providers being more dominant in the future.

In addition, there are fitness trackers which assist in contextualizing these readings from such medical devices. For diabetes patients, contextualizing a reading is very important in providing a more holistic and relevant therapy solution to a patient. It is of interest to know, for example, how a person’s blood glucose level is impacted if he/ she eats an apple at a certain time period before a 30-min intensive running workout, or even afterwards. And what if they eat three apples? Empowered by such information, digital solutions can then help in performing sophisticated analytics, allowing for predictive readings and recommendations. Such analytics are increasingly being offered within the diabetes apps themselves. Diabetes apps, which initially began as education and notepad tools, today provide a more holistic solution.

 

KEY SERVICE PROVIDERS

Also, there are companies pioneering in the area related to data management, in terms of both data analytics and data security. The two segments, however, are exclusive and quite different from each other. Healthcare companies produce an enormous amount of data, which is both a boon and a bane for the industry. Data analytics companies, such as IBM Watson and Verily, help in making sense of all this data and make it more useful for both the patient and the healthcare providers. Similarly, heavy importance is being laid on the storage and security of all user-generated data.

Additionally, there are companies providing coaching services, 24/7 patient monitoring services, food and meals recommendations and some which are integrating next-gen solutions, such as Amazon’s Alexa, with the existing solutions in the market.

 

OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS

But to facilitate all the above, several other types of service providers are also required. They are working in the backdrop as technical solutions developers, as providers of distribution services, or of an ecosystem to facilitate the sharing of information amongst the various stakeholders. Furthermore, there are enterprises which work on the periphery to help support patients online and create awareness about the industry and new solutions in the market. In addition, there are also companies, which are integrating several solutions into a single product and service offering. An interesting case is of BeatO, a logbook app originating in India, which also provides an online store where patients can purchase ‘diabetes friendly’ food products.

 

To summarize, a lot of development has been witnessed in the digital diabetes sector in the recent past and there are several segments within the industry landscape which offer growth for the long term for different types of market players.

 

What do you think about this industry? Do you believe we have covered the whole spectrum, or would you like to share some of your insights?  Feel free to get in touch, in case you have any suggestions or queries.

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