- Verily, Alphabet's life sciences unit, and pharmaceutical company Sanofi have launched a joint venture called Onduo to create tools for diabetes management.
- Using a multi-stakeholder approach, the goal is to combine devices, software, medicine, and professional care and create digital solutions to help the management of diabetics' medications, habits, and goals.
- Onduo will be only be focused on the diabetes type 2 (metabolic disorder) population but it plans to extend its services to diabetes type 1 (autoimmune disease) and people who are at risk of developing the condition.
Strategic partnership deals for tackling diabetes have been gaining traction this year. Earlier this summer, IBM announced a collaboration with the American Diabetes Association to apply IBM Watson's cognitive computing to the association's data on the condition and launch an app challenge. Soon thereafter, Healthy Interactions partnered with MedCurrent to combine clinical support technology with patient engagement platforms to ultimately close any gaps in diabetics' continuum of care.
Diabetes is among the most costly conditions in the U.S. and the number of Americans with the condition increased in 2014 by about 30%, totaling 22 million, compared with 15.2 million in 2004. The upward trend has caused companies to boost efforts to improve diabetes management using health IT. “Through the power of cognitive insights, by translating big data into these insights, we are going to bring visibility to this disease,” Dr. Kyu Rhee, Watson's chief health officer, recently told Healthcare Dive.
The plans Sanofi had with Alphabet to create Onduo were originally announced last September. The companies will be investing approximately $500 million in their joint venture, according to a Reuters report.
Sutter Health of Northern California and Allegheny Health are two of the healthcare systems that have already tested the Onduo platform in a clinical care setting, Sanofi stated.