WellDoc secures $500K to support launch of doctor-prescribed app for diabetes

WellDoc, the Baltimore-based healthcare technology company focused on addressing chronic diseases, announced last week that it raised $508,600 in financing from the Sand Hill Group, a venture capital firm. The funding, part of the first round of a $10 million financial commitment from six angel investors including Sand Hill, is expected to be used to help support WellDoc's launch next year of a doctor-prescribed mobile health app for patients with type 2 diabetes.

Slated for launch in the first half of 2013, Mobile Diabetes Intervention System is the accompanying mobile health app for WellDoc's DiabetesManager, a web/cell phone-based platform used to help patients manage type 2 diabetes. In development for more than five years, DiabetesManager supports medication adherence and securely provides for the capture, storage, and real-time transmission of blood glucose data and other diabetes self-management information. DiabetesManager received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August 2010, allowing the system to be marketed to healthcare providers and adult patients with type 2 diabetes.

"While the application received FDA clearance two years ago, estimates put the average cost of developing a Class 2 medical device in the ballpark of $24 million over several years--an expense most application developers are not willing to absorb," according to the announcement. That is why the $10 million financial commitment from angel investors is critical for WellDoc.

Precisely because WellDoc's mobile device and accompanying software application has secured FDA approval, research firm GlobalData believes it will be "taken more seriously by physicians and adds credibility to those who might otherwise be inclined to write it off as a wellness application." 

A recent pilot of DiabetesManager by diabetic employees of health insurer Health Care Service Corporation determined the technology to be "highly useful" in an online end-user survey. Overall, 88 percent rated DiabetesManager either a 4 or a 5 on a five-point scale. Seventy-eight percent said they would keep using the technology at the end of the pilot period, while 93 percent said they would recommend it to someone else.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement