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GlicOnLine: Diabetes Management Goes Mobile

By 13 de novembro de 2013 Empreendedorismo

Diabetes is a complex disease, but GlicOnLine hopes to improve the quality of life for diabetics through its mHealth app. The healthcare costs i.e. cost of medication and treatment compounded with economic costs i.e. time spent away from work or forced early retirement can have a substantially negative impact. In addition, treatment for the disease is tricky and individualized. Ricardo Pessoa of GlicOnLine calls the constant monitoring and calculations an impossible burden that diabetics face on a daily basis. Pessoa partnered with Karla Melo, PhD. and Floro Dória to launch GlicOnLine, an mHealth app that emphasizes simplicity for diabetic treatment and monitoring in order to increase a diabetic’s quality of life.

               GlicOnLine was incorporated in 2004 and has since undergone a few clinical trials. In its infancy, Pessoa suggested that the GlicOnLine platform and its technology might have been introduced too early in the market. He explained that phones in 2004 were primarily used for talking and texting while smarthphone use and Android apps in Brazil have only begun as late as 2010. This disconnect may have held GlicOnLine from reaching its potential; however, Pessoa pointed out that the clinical trials revealed two distinct takeaways: (1) feedback suggested that the app was relevant for diabetic patients, and (2) users tended to use the product over a long-term period.  This last note is noteworthy, because Pessoa explained GlicOnLine developed a devoted and committed following among diabetic patients.

        The GlicOnLine apGlicOnLine App Photop has incorporated functionality while keeping the patient in mind. GlicOnLine incorporates an mHealth app and also combines electronic health records (EHR) and Software as a Service (SaaS) technologies. Learning from their first initial clinical trials, Pessoa, Melo, and Dória tweaked GlicOnLine and transformed the app to run on Android software. This step is significant, because the partners now were able to incorporate their idea with advances and shifts in mobile technology. In terms of a targeted demographic, GlicOnLine is designed to address gaps with the treatment of diabetes among people reliant on the Brazilian state healthcare system.  Pessoa said the estimated number of cases in Brazil is near 12 million with nearly 8 million of those solely dependent on Brazilian state healthcare. In many cases, Pessoa noted that the difficulties these patients encounter when they attempt to follow a course of treatment.  GlicOnLine wants to improve the overall quality of life of diabetics and help lessen their daily burden. GlicOnLine monitors glycemic levels, monitors diet, and allows patients to interact with their doctor or other health professionals.  While the bulk of targeted users exclusively rely on the state healthcare system, Pessoa stressed that the product may also be used by managed care organizations, diabetes management programs, and sponsored licenses for pharmaceutical industry.

          Growth and adoption of GlicOnLine is crucial to its viability and its mission to transform the daily management of diabetes. In order to expand its public health presence, GlicOnLine recently has started clinical trials in order to eventually expand the app’s popularity among diabetics in Brazil. Pessoa highlighted the recent clinical trial at Faculdade de Medicina de Marilia (FAMEMA) involving GlicOnLine’s impact on public health. In this trial, Jose Augusto Sgarbi (MD, PhD) will evaluate forty (40) patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.  Two other trials are planned in Campinas, orchestrated by Dr. Walter Minicucci, and Bauru, led by Dr. Carlos Negrato. In addition, GlicOnLine received recognition from Veja when the publication selected GlicOnLine as a health app to be evaluated by physicians.

               The GlicOnLine team is committed and passionate about treating and monitoring diabetes. Pessoa shared a distinctive feature of one of his business partners—Karla Melo. Ms. Melo lives with diabetes, so she has a unique perspective in terms of designing a product that diabetics will adopt and maintain their course of treatment. With nearly a decade dedicated to their cause, the GlicOnLine team believes in their product and its potential to improve quality of life for diabetics. EmpreenderSaude will keep following them.

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GlicOnLine was also featured on O Estadão de São Paulo’s website (one of Brazil’s top newspapers).



Colin J. Glaeser

About Colin J. Glaeser

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