Abbott deepens Type 2 diabetes play with Omada partnership

Dive Brief: Abbott is widening its base of potential Type 2 diabetes FreeStyle Libre users […]

Dive Brief:

  • Abbott is widening its base of potential Type 2 diabetes FreeStyle Libre users by offering access to the glucose monitoring technology through chronic disease management platform Omada Health, which partners with employers and health plans.
  • The Abbott-Omada agreement, announced Monday, will give eligible participants access to a FreeStyle Libre prescription, plus a remote diabetes educator.
  • The newfound channel will further expand Abbott’s presence among individuals with Type 2 diabetes, although the extent of potential growth is unclear as Omada doesn’t disclose its number of active users, a company spokesperson confirmed.

Dive Insight:

FreeStyle Libre has been a juggernaut for Abbott this year, spurring 42% growth in the diabetes unit last quarter. One recent physician survey pegged Abbott’s continuous glucose monitor (CGM) as most likely to gain market share in the coming years, pointing to its lower cost and wider insurance coverage compared to competitor devices from Medtronic and Dexcom.
While CGMs have been most widely adopted among the Type 1 population, Abbott has worked to show the technology’s benefit in the under-penetrated Type 2 market, which accounts for 95% of all Americans living with diabetes. At the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting in June, Abbott presented real-world data from 363 FreeStyle Libre users with Type 2 diabetes on intensive insulin therapy, showing FreeStyle Libre significantly reduced HbA1c levels (a reflection of a person’s average blood sugar) over the course of three to six months.
Omada has tried to tap into that massive market with an integrated digital health platform aimed in part at reducing the cost of diabetes care to employers and health plans.
The privately held digital health company last week announced an undisclosed investment from longtime partner Intermountain Ventures, following completion of a $73 million funding round in June, which drew engagement from healthcare and big pharma investors like Cigna Ventures, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Sanofi Ventures. Omada said it intended to use the funds to support “continued expansion of its digital care program,” including support for individuals with Type 2 diabetes and hypertension, and anxiety and depression.
Abbott and Omada said their new partnership will offer FreeStyle Libre to certain beneficiaries of Omada-partnered health plans and employers. Patients beginning with the technology will receive an online physician consultation, and the FreeStyle Libre prescription will include the CGM system as well as a wireless scale. Users will have access to certified diabetes educator coaches through Omada’s app, which will enable tailored recommendations, a platform to track progress, and access to an online peer group, the companies said.
Abbott previously partnered with recently public Omada competitor Livongo Health, which announced last September it would integrate with FreeStyle Libre Pro, the version of the device applied by a healthcare provider. In its first earnings report last month, Livongo said it had quarterly revenues of $41 million, 720 total clients and 193,000 diabetes members.
Abbott will report third quarter financial results Oct. 16.
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