One Drop is revolutionizing diabetes care through an app

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The tech revolution in healthcare has so far focused on people who are already pretty healthy. FitBits, Apple Watches and the like are useful if you’re trying to stay fit, but not if you’re looking for tools to help manage a chronic condition. 

One company is bridging the gap between chronic illness and technology — and software and hardware — with a new service and app launching this week. One Drop will provide a monthly subscription of all the tools a person with diabetes needs to manage their condition. The physical equipment is paired with an app that tracks activity, nutrition and the many other factors that go into managing diabetes. 

One Drop is the brainchild of Jeff Dachis, who founded the digital agency Razorfish over 20 years ago. Three years ago, Dachis was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes — an unusual diagnosis in adulthood. 

“I went to the doctor, and I had six minutes with the nurse practitioner,” Dachis said. “I was so frustrated with this life-threatening disease and the experience I had, I started looking at what else was out there.” 

His solution was to create One Drop, which debuted a free app a year-and-a-half ago and raised $8 million in Series A funding. On Tuesday, One Drop introduced One Drop Chrome, an FDA-approved blood glucose monitoring system that sends blood glucose data to the One Drop app. 

The One Drop Chrome blood glucose monitoring system.

The One Drop Chrome blood glucose monitoring system.

The device is also available in the United Kingdom and European Union, where it was approved by the Conformité Européene. 

One Drop’s monthly subscription service, which also comes with blood glucose test strips, a chrome lancing device and a case for these supplies, costs $39.95 a month without insurance, compared to co-pays of up to $200 for diabetes equipment and care through more traditional platforms. One Drop Chrome costs $99.95 and will be sold through Apple by mid-December. 

The iOS and Android apps let users seek advice from certified diabetes educators, many of whom are also nutritionists or licensed nurses. Experts offer guidance customized to each user, for example around whether a user has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. 

Users don’t need permission from a doctor to transfer their diabetes care over to One Drop. 

One Drop is tailored to diabetes, but its subscription, data-centric model has potential for other healthcare needs. The next step for One Drop is incorporating tracking and care elements for other chronic conditions that people with diabetes often have — heart disease, hypertension and kidney disease, for example — as well as for pre-diabetes care. But Dachis thinks the One Drop model could be replicated outside of the diabetes space too, for chronic conditions like those linked to diabetes. 

“We believe that connected devices, mobile computing and big data are the drivers to revolution in healthcare,” Dachis said. “If you’re dealing with a chronic condition day-in and day-out, believe in this model.” 

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