By LAURA LOREK
Founder of Silicon Hills News
Shir Even-Zohar’s parents are diabetic patients.
She knows firsthand that the main way to treat the incurable disease is to balance the body’s blood glucose levels, which requires strict glucose level monitoring. That’s not always easy to do.
That’s why Even-Zohar sees the need for a new medical device called Dario, a diabetes management platform that runs on a smartphone. LabStyle Innovations, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, developed Dario, a cloud-based, mobile health platform for diabetes and related blood glucose monitoring.
“This device will help them easily get their data on their phone and get their insights to learn how to better manage their diabetes in a very convenient way,” said Even-Zohar, a business development senior manager for LabStyle Innovations.
The market for the device is huge. Worldwide, more than 400 million people have diabetes and it’s on the rise fueled by the obesity epidemic. The main type of diabetes is type 2.
“Dario is the next generation in advanced diabetes self-management,” according to Even-Zohar. Dario helps people manage their diabetes better, she said. The software integrates with the all-in-one, pocket-sized, Dario blood glucose monitoring device. It comes with lancet, strips and a meter that connects to a smartphone, and a website application enabling patients, medical professionals and caregivers to access data with the aim of and as a result drives proactive intervention.
Next week, Even-Zohar will travel to San Antonio to introduce Dario to patients enrolled in a consumer focus study that will take place at Geekdom, a San Antonio coworking space focused on tech startups based in the Weston Centre downtown.
Geekdom members Alan Weinkrantz and Cynthia Phelps are heading up the local focus group on Dario. They’ve enrolled several people into the paid sessions but they are still looking for a few more insulin-dependent diabetic patients to participate. They are looking for people who are between 18 to 45 years old and who use a smartphone and have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The participants need to use an insulin pen and test their blood glucose four times a day. The two-hour sessions start Monday and run through Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Health 2.0 will hold a public meeting at Geekdom to introduce Dario and Even-Zohar will talk about Israel’s medical-technology startup economy. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. It’s free to attend but registration is required.
“San Antonio has a very large diabetes population,” Even-Zohar said. “We think at Geekdom we can meet great people who can help us understand their needs and evaluate a product that we are about to launch. If there is anything that we can improve, we want their feedback to make the best product possible.’
The free Dario app will be available for download from the Apple App Store on Dec. 12 this year in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. The launch of the Dario iOS App is the first step of LabStyle’s worldwide rollout of the full Dario platform. LabStyle received certification for Europe for the full Dario diabetes management platform last September. That allows LabStyle Innovation to market Dario in Europe. The company plans to file for 510 (k) Food and Drug Administration clearing to market its platform in the U.S. in the near future and anticipates regulatory clearance in 2014, Even-Zohar said. Currently the app is only available for iOS devices, but an Android compatible version is expected soon.
LabStyle Innovations, a publicly traded company founded two years ago, has partners in the United Kingdom and Italy to distribute and sell Dario.
“The app is a very nice tool to use even without our device,” Even-Zohar said. “It’s a way to introduce the product and get them hooked on our approach of diabetes management.”
In addition to San Antonio, Even-Zohar will visit Cleveland, Ohio. David Edelman with Diabetes Daily has set up some meeting for her there.
“This is a very innovative approach on how diabetes should be managed,” Even-Zohar said.