NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Navigating today’s healthcare systems can be overwhelming. Outrageous costs combined with complex processes have created a healthcare system renowned for overpriced inefficiency; PolicyAdvice reported that in 2018, the global healthcare market topped $8.45 trillion, which represents about 10% of GDP in developed countries. Clearly the industry is desperate for solutions that both improve health outcomes and lower costs. As with many sectors, those solutions are found in technology. Savvy companies operating in the space are recognizing the power healthcare technology (healthtech) and medical technology (medtech) wield in offering next-generation innovation that answers the call to both flatten the healthcare spending curve and provide patients and providers with treatments that work. Already in place prior to COVID-19, the healthcare tech trend has only accelerated adoption of self-diagnostic and remote solutions that have been welcomed by all. Some companies, such as Nemaura Medical Inc. (NASDAQ: NMRD) (Profile), are focusing on specific areas of unmet medical need, including diabetes and obesity. Nemaura is joined by other astute companies, such as WW International Inc. (NASDAQ: WW), Teladoc Health Inc. (NYSE: TDOC), DexCom Inc. (NASDAQ: DXCM) and DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), who are also recognized leaders in these sectors as they work to provide effective, cost-sensitive solutions.
- UNC study reports only 12% of participants attain optimal metabolic health, resulting in increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
- Nemaura Medical’s proprietary BEAT(R) diabetes platform offers affordable innovation, effective treatment.
- After soft launch, Nemaura inks deals for 200,000 units with rolling forecast of 2 million sensors over next two years.
- When partnered with predictive technologies such as AI and machine learning, the future for NMRD platform appears to be vast and diverse.
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Distinctively Different from the Rest
The importance of metabolic health on the quality of life cannot be overestimated. Many experts in the field point to five health markers — medicine-free readings of blood glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, blood pressure and waist circumference — as key indicators to watch and measure. A seven-year study by University of North Carolina researchers reported that only 12% of Americans achieve optimal metabolic health, with poor metabolic health often increasing the risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and associated comorbidities. The report noted that patients struggling with obesity posted the poorest results, with only 0.5% of individuals in this group achieving optimal metabolic health.
Unfortunately, the rise in obesity, defined as a body mass index over 30, is fueling an upward trend in diagnoses of diabetes and prediabetes, which are characterized and defined by poor glucose control. Often preventable, diabetes and its increasing prevalence is a cause for concern. The National Diabetes Report indicates that 10.5% of all Americans — and 13% of adults — have the disease, with an incredible 34.5% of Americans identified as prediabetic.
Those numbers are no less alarming worldwide, with 463 million people diagnosed with diabetes globally. Data from the World Health Organization indicates that 3.4 million people worldwide die from diabetes each year, although the actual number of deaths attributed to the disease may be difficult to ascertain because diabetics often suffer from myriad health problems including damaged heart, blood vessels, kidneys, eyes and nerves.
For the past decade, Nemaura Medical Inc. (NASDAQ: NMRD) has focused on developing the world’s first daily-wear, noninvasive glucose sensor and integrated healthcare app. The company’s BEAT(R) diabetes platform, including its proprietary sugarBEAT(R) CGM and proBEAT(TM) offerings, combines noninvasive glucose data processed using artificial intelligence (AI) and a digital healthcare subscription service.
These solutions are distinctively different from others in both form and function. The platform is designed to use an integrated approach that supports and enables individuals to succeed in their efforts to lose weight and reverse diabetes or prediabetes. In addition, Nemaura combines an integrated app with proprietary intellectual property and know-how, including more than 30 approved or pending patents across multiple patent families, resulting in a metabolic health program that stands apart from similar options such as NOOM, etc.
The platform was designed to provide Nemaura with the opportunity to diversify, using the exclusive offerings to expand into both horizontal and vertical markets. The company has announced the successful soft launch of its CE-approved medical device in the United Kingdom and is reporting interest from potential partners in Europe and Middle East; diabetes and obesity are widespread in both of these regions. The UK licensee has already ordered more than 200,000 sensors and forecasts a further 2 million for the next 2 years.
The NMRD system can also be adjusted to tackle the complete metabolic health spectrum and other markets, including monitoring body temperature, lactic acid levels, and alcohol and drug ingestion. When partnered with predictive technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, the future for the platform appears to be vast and diverse.
A New Take on Tradition
While continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) isn’t new, Nemaura has a new take on the traditional treatment. The company has developed a powerful system complete with mass-market sugarBEAT CGM sensors, analytics, personalized coaching and a metabolic health app. Particularly of note is the company’s innovative sensors. Most sensors available today are invasive, requiring the insertion of a one-centimeter-long filament in the arm, which must remain in place for up to two weeks.
Nemaura’s proprietary sensors require no penetration of the skin. The sensor is simply placed on the surface of the skin much like a Band-Aid. In addition, Nemaura’s sensors do not need to be worn for extended periods. In fact, those dealing with diabetes, prediabetes or obesity typically only need to wear a sensor for a few days each month. What’s more, the individual chooses the time and day, simply disposing of the sensor after use. Fewer sensors used for fewer days means lower costs of disease management.
Data transmission takes place in real time every five minutes, with glucose profiles only needed at the end of each month to keep in check. Patients using the WhyWait program receive guidance for diet and exercise adjustments based on self-monitored blood glucose (SMBG). The original weight-loss program was developed at the Joslin Diabetes Centre, with more than 12 years of clinical success; Nemaura’s BEATdiabetes program replicates the same principles and ideas in a virtual platform shown to result in durable weight loss without loss of muscle mass.
Changing the Benchmark
The benchmark for diabetes management for years has been HbA1C, a measure of the amount of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, which is in red blood cells and carries oxygen from lungs throughout the body. Unfortunately, non-CGM collected HbA1C levels are only averages that can produce the same result while varying significantly during any given period. It can be compared to a math equation, with infinite ways to arrive at “7” (i.e., 5+2, 9-2, 11-4, 1+6, etc.).
One key benefit offered by Nemaura’s CGM-based system is the ability to track the actual time that glucose levels are in a normal range, called time in range (TIR). For HbA1C, this can be defined as anywhere between 3.9 and 10.0 millimoles per liter (mmol/l). Providing a way to record when and how much blood sugar is outside that target range can be significant in disease management. That information can provide understanding and the ability to control TIR, which can lead to a reduction in diabetes complications.
Capturing Attention, POs
With its innovative and power technology in place, Nemaura expects to offer meaningful improvements in HbA1C, blood cholesterol, blood pressure and sustainable weight loss — and at an affordable price. Studies show that each case of diabetes costs employers and insurers more than $9,000 on average every year; that number is significantly greater than the $1,200 cost reported for nondiabetic individuals.
The innovative tech and cost-saving numbers appear to be capturing the attention of those in the industry looking for solutions. A soft launch of NMRD’s BEAT diabetes platform in the United Kingdom resulted in purchase orders for 200,000 sensors along with rolling POs forecast for 2 million sensors in the next two years. The platform has just been launched in the United States as a wellbeing device called proBEAT, with a PMA filed with the FDA as well. In addition, the company is reportedly in negotiations with several third parties regarding its sugarBEAT and BEAT platforms.
A Market Demanding Consideration
While diabetes and obesity may not top the list of most exciting investment opportunities, the size of the market, totaling some 1.5 billion people currently and rising, certainly demands consideration. Although the diseases have been traditionally difficult to treat, technology is fueling a new optimism that change is in the air.
WW International Inc. (NASDAQ: WW), a human-centric technology company powered by the world’s leading commercial weight-management program, has teamed up with Zoom Video Communications Inc. for the launch of WW’s Wellness That Works(TM), a new app for Zoom that delivers an embedded experience, seamlessly integrated within Zoom meetings. This new in-product app is now available in the Zoom App Marketplace. WW’s Wellness that Works app for Zoom encourages users to adopt healthy habits from their virtual meetings — behind the screen and beyond — no matter where they are.
Teladoc Health Inc. (NYSE: TDOC), the first and only comprehensive virtual care system, has partnered with DexCom Inc. (NASDAQ: DXCM), the leader in real-time continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), to offer joint Livongo for Diabetes and Dexcom members CGM-powered insights, a new set of features and reports that help members more easily visualize their health information and understand how lifestyle decisions affect their blood glucose levels. By combining Dexcom CGM data with additional signals from Teladoc Health, including activity data and food intake, CGM-powered insights offer members a complete health profile and recommendations that support ongoing diabetes management.
In addition, DexCom has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Dexcom Partner Web APIs, enabling invited third-party developers to integrate real-time CGM data into their digital health apps and devices. “FDA clearance of our real-time APIs further solidifies Dexcom as the leader in interoperable CGM, giving Dexcom users even more choice in how they view and interact with their glucose data,” said Dexcom chief technology officer Jake Leach. “The new APIs will help seamlessly integrate the power of real-time Dexcom CGM data into some of the leading diabetes and digital health solutions.” Several prominent diabetes and digital health companies have been invited to access the real-time APIs and are already in the testing and development phase.
DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a pioneer in the global digital therapeutics market, announced a new study at last month’s American Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists annual conference demonstrating the impact of Dario’s intelligent personalization platform. Dario’s latest presentation examined the impact of personalized clinical interventions delivered in real-time through the company’s digital therapeutics platform. “Digital therapeutics can play a key role in driving meaningful behavior change when the member experience is truly tailored to follow each person’s unique journey. This research is another example of how Dario is able to adapt and respond to our members using a combination of real-time data and clinically guided, highly personalized interventions to drive healthier behaviors and deliver better results,” said DarioHealth chief medical officer Omar Manejwala, MD.
Healthcare is at a crossroads, with a deep market demand for both innovation and economic awareness. Companies that can meet that demand and bring new solutions to the space are certain to command attention.
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