The diabetes technology space is one that’s always innovating. From continuous glucose monitoring to insulin pumps and the artificial pancreas, we’ve seen a lot.
Companies are looking for all kinds of ways to make their mark in the world of diabetes. Newer offerings include digital health, software, coaching and more.
For companies still in their early stages, there are still plenty of ways to break into the space. At The 16th International Conference on Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes (ATTD), there were a number of startups featured in the “Tech Fair,” demonstrating what they have to offer. In total, 14 promising startups received ATTD startup grants.
Several of those companies, plus a few more, feature on our list of diabetes startups to keep an eye on:
Stanford, California-based DiabetesWise provides a free, unbranded, data-driven online resource. It provides comprehensive tools to explore diabetes devices with regulatory approval. The Helmsley Charitable Trust funds the company with no financial support from device manufacturers.
In April 2022, the company launched its DiabetesWise Pro website to help providers make informed decisions on diabetes devices. The easy-to-use and free tool offers access in the clinical practice or at the point of care. Providers can identify the best available diabetes device on the market for their patients. It also provides the necessary steps for ordering the device based on insurance type.
Earlier this year, DiabetesWise launched its advanced Prescription Tool for the DiabetesWise Pro website. This tool provides an up-to-date guide for ordering devices. It offers an integrated platform that allows for both prescription and ordering support all in one place.
Memphis, Tennessee-based Diatech Diabetes develops the SmartFusion infusion monitoring software. It detects insulin delivery failure and offers insights on how infusion performance affects diabetes management.
According to the company’s website, pumps can only detect occlusion failures that prevent insulin delivery. However, if the system still delivers insulin, but the user never receives it, the pump’s occlusion alarm may not detect it. Such failures — while common — can lead to hospitalizations or death.
The SmartFusion algorithm helps to detect leaks, kinks/partial occlusions, infusion into damaged sites and dislodgements. Diatech Diabetes designed it specifically for insulin pumps to detect infusion failures they don’t currently detect themselves. The algorithm analyzes the data from the pump’s infusion mechanism to determine whether infusion was successful or not. It utilizes real-time data analysis with machine learning. The algorithm can also predict the likelihood of site failure based on historical data, helping to pick an optimal infusion site.
According to Glaice’s website, since March 2021, its team has aimed to “reinvent sustainable health for a fulfilling life.” It seeks to combine medtech knowledge, healthcare domain knowledge, venturing expertise, software, AI and more. All of this feeds into a platform to help people manage their chronic diseases, including diabetes.
The company’s app provides personalized exercise support for people with type 1 diabetes. It offers tailored advice based on medical research and user data.
Users can connect Glaice’s platform to any CGM and automatically transmit blood sugar data. They can choose their favorite exercise to receive tailored plans with science-based recommendations for safety. Glaice says that, with its platform, users are in control of their lifestyle and glucose, making their own choices rather than allowing their disease to do so.
Dubai-based GluCare offers personalized care through a combination of digital therapeutics and a human metabolic health platform. It’s comprised of continuous metabolic monitoring, wearable technology, data analytics and expert support.
The company says on its website that it aimed to “merge human and machine” with the human-centric model of care. It seeks to change the course of diabetes.
According to GluCare, patients experience a 2.14% HbA1c reduction in just 90 days. They also report less use of medication. After a year of management, GluCare says, patients (on average) eliminated diabetes-specific medication.
Leicester, U.K.–based HEAL.med is launching its Deapp 2.0 on March 31. HEAL.med’s education platform, which offers diabetes education, is used in hospitals across the UK.
The diabetes education application aims to ensure access to high-quality, effective education for all children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
As a nonprofit, HEAL.med works closely with the NHS, Diabetes UK and medtech companies to deliver its education offerings. Among its platform are videos, games and more featuring animations and props.
Delaware-based Medtech Concept develops a range of medical products for people with diabetes. Its diabetes management system combines digital health software with a market-tested, miniature therapeutic delivery device. The company aims to provide real improvements in the control of diabetes.
Medtech Concept’s MiniPen 2 addresses real-world needs of diabetics. The company designed it to offer an alternative to large, cumbersome and high-cost insulin devices. The miniaturized delivery system also features a low price, the company said, making it available to a wider population compared to current large, expensive auto-injectors.
MiniPen2 features a new safety feature lock system to prevent use for more than one time only. After the syringe is filled with insulin, the plunger automatically locks into the barrel to prevent usage again. Medtech Concept says this feature helps to stop the spread of viruses and infections.
The Bangalore-based startup came out of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). It aims to design and develop medical devices, including for diabetes, for resource-constrained settings.
By leveraging open-source communities, the company aims to maximize the return on investment for the healthcare system. This comes through lower device and service costs. Multiple entities can operate and test these devices independently.
Open MedLabs believes it can potentially create a community around device designs, leading to contributions from independent innovators. Open-source designs in resource-constrained settings like India can offer patients access to cutting-edge technologies at affordable prices, too.
Seoul, South Korea–based Orange Biomed develops its flagship OBM rapid A1c. This platform helps people manage their diabetes through HbA1c testing.
The company believes that, despite HbA1c testing’s importance, there remains a lack of at-home monitoring for diabetic patients that offers the accuracy and precision of laboratory devices. OBM rapid A1c, a point-of-care blood testing device, aims to achieve both accuracy and precision at that high level.
“We believe A1C Alert can improve the quality of life for diabetic patients,” Orange Biomed’s website reads.
This company considered itself a search and recommendation engine for the user’s metabolism. It uses a diabetic’s data to model how their metabolism reacts to different foods and activities.
Replica Health integrates previously unused data and applies machine learning to provide personalized information about carbohydrate breakdown. This helps to turn mealtime guesses into data-driven decision-making.
The company also links CGM, insulin pump, Apple Health and location data. It creates a new model for understanding, analyzing and searching metabolic history. Replica Health says its avenues for exploring data through time, location and labels are like “Yelp for your metabolism.” The platform also utilizes an automated event algorithm to track routines, reducing the time needed to log data.
The company, which has offices in Baltimore and Arlington, Virginia, provides tech-enabled, office-based and virtual care to type 2 diabetes patients.
Ryse Health’s platform includes a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and a custom app. Together, these synthesize data, support self-management and facilitate communication between the user and their care team. That care team features health coaches, endocrinologists, registered dieticians, certified diabetes care and education specialists and licensed clinical social workers.
In early clinical results, Ryse says it saw a two-point drop in patients’ A1C numbers for those starting at an A1C of greater than 8%. It also observed a 36% decrease in elevated blood sugars for all patients after the first 60 days of the program.
The company raised $3.4 million in seed funding in April 2022. It added another $6.5 million in early March 2023.
Based in the UK, SmartStart Health wants to make it easier to use CGM.
The company develops its own SmartStart CGM, a CGM education and onboarding app. SmartStart says its platform offers simplicity, engagement, relevance, fun and is both efficient on time and costs.
Using the principles of German CGM education program Spectrum, Founder and CEO Melissa Holloway wanted to create a digital adaptation. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, some patients in the UK had to wait months to start using CGM because in-person training was on hold and no virtual options existed. The company felt, at that time, that it was right to create SmartStart CGM. It wanted to take advantage of the expanding evidence base for CGM use in people with type 2 diabetes, too.
Currently, with support from Switzerland’s Diabetes Center Berne, SmartStart has its proof-of-concept development underway.