Roche Acquires mySugr Digital Diabetes App

The crossover among device makers, digital health, and big data continues, as consolidation that some have predicted in the diabetes space is apparent.

Roche announced Friday it has acquired mySugr, which offers apps, data tracking, and coaching services for people with diabetes. In a statement, Roche described mySugr as “one of the leading mobile diabetes platforms in the market,” with more than 1 million users.

The agreement lets Roche combine the mySugr mobile management tools with Roche’s diabetes diagnostics business. “The acquisition allows Roche to expand its leading position in the area of diabetes management,” the company said in a statement.

Despite growing numbers of people with diabetes, both the pharmaceutical and technology sectors have been challenged by pricing pressure. Some have predicted consolidation in the digital health sphere, as multiple competitors have emerged before payers have completely figured out how to evaluate reimbursement criteria. There are also good reasons for traditional device makers to pair with digtial health companies as "big data" becomes more important in heatlhcare. Medtronic has partnered with Glooko and Canary Health, and Dexcom, maker of continuous glucose monitors, has partnered with Google.

Friday’s acquisition grew out of a partnership between Roche and mySugr that started in 2014, which Roche said revealed “an excellent cultural fit.”

“Both our companies are passionate about taking diabetes management to the next level,” Roche CEO Roland Diggelmann said in the company’s statement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Frank Westerman, mySugr CEO and co-founder, said the company was started with purpose of using smartphones to solve everyday problems with diabetes management. “The mySugr team has filled a gap for over 1 million loyal users so far, and with Roche’s diabetes expertise and global network, mySugr will become an indispensable companion for hassle-free life.”

Roche is based in Basel, Switzerland, makes the well-known Accu-Chek blood glucose meters, insulin delivery systems, and lancing devices; mySugr is based in Vienna, Austria, with offices in San Diego, California.

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