Livongo Working With Apple Watch and Others to Improve Disease Management

Livongo, a digital health startup that focuses on chronic disease management, recently announced that it will be integrated into wearables like the Apple Watch to provide health reminders to consumers. The company has previously worked to improve the quality of life in employees at Microsoft and Amazon with chronic conditions like diabetes. Moving into the smartwatch industry, Livongo is now aiming to give users personalized “Health Nudges” through notifications that promote health-conscious decisions.

With this system in place, a Livongo user with diabetes may receive alerts reminding them to measure their blood sugar in the morning before breakfast, eat low-starch vegetables before lunch, or to avoid drinking a sugary beverage.

During an interview with CNBC, Livongo’s chief product officer Amar Kendale said that the company’s team has long been studying these alert systems to identify the best way to deliver them. Kendale wants to avoid what is known as “alert fatigue”, a scenario in which these notifications are overloaded and lose meaning. These nudges will also be presented as five-day challenges for the users, a time frame that Kendale claims is optimum for causing changes in behavior.

The updates will not be generic reminders that all users receive but will rather be tailored to each individual user. Livongo hopes to learn about the users’ behavior over time to better identify the behavioral changes that yield the best results.

In addition to the Apple Watch, Livongo will also be connecting with Fitbit devices and Samsung’s Gear smartwatch. Livongo works with roughly 600 employers and health plans, including self-insured employers like Walgreens, Microsoft, and Amazon. These insurers cover the cost of Livongo, allowing employees to utilize the service free of cost.

The company currently has over 164,000 active users and reported $68.4 million in revenue in 2018. Livongo is also one of the first digital health companies to file for an initial public offering, as per headlines that emerged this morning.

Livongo was founded in 2014, initially offering glucose monitors and test strips for diabetic patients. It has since expanded into management of other chronic conditions, including those of behavioral health and obesity.

With 60% of American adults suffering from at least one chronic disease, the incorporation of Livongo software into smartwatches holds great potential in better managing these conditions. Adam Pellegrini, Fitbit’s general manager of health solutions, claimed that the Livongo app improves health outcomes and behavioral changes in smartwatch users.

”(It) underscores the growing role that wearables and Fitbit devices play in the management of chronic conditions,” he stated.