With its mission to lower the world’s A1c by inspiring those with diabetes to take ownership of their lives, Pops Diabetes Care has come a long way from just being a glucose monitoring system. The diabetes care company offers the most discreet, easy to use diabetes management, and virtual care system available. Their comprehensive virtual health platform is designed to not only lower A1c count but also create positive patterns to lead to better management. From the simple ‘POP’ one feels when they get a blood sample to popping in to look at their glucose trends, Pops adds personality to diabetes management.
Being specialized at diabetes management and its virtual care, the health-tech has some key accomplishments under its belt of achievements:
- Won the American Diabetes Association Innovation award in 2016
- Won Canada’s INVENTURES business contest in 2018
- Named a Pepperdine University “Most Fundable Company” in 2018
- Received FDA approval in Nov 2018
- Published outcomes and accuracy clinical evidence in Nov 2018
- Commercialized in February of 2019
- Closed Series A funding round in July 2019
Managing diabetes is a 24/7/365 task. The Pops Rebel System is a new approach to diabetes management. The company’s virtual health system combines the power of the user’s phone with a coaching app and a small, portable, and integrated glucose monitor.
The Rebel is a three-part platform – a one-step blood test that results into a fully integrated meter, which enables glucose testing that is discrete and painless anytime anywhere; an app that delivers personalized daily coaching in a non-judgmental way through algorithms on the user’s phone; and connectivity that provides immediate family and/or care team notifications and sharing options. This experience allows users to manage their condition with something they use every day – their smartphone.
Diabetes is the #1 healthcare cost in the U.S. And that’s where Pops comes in. By helping their owners reduce their A1c by 1-point, the results are healthier people, reduced healthcare costs, and improved diabetes management.
Pops approaches its experience from the owner’s perspective. People who use their system aren’t participants or members, they’re owners. They own their experience with Pops, and they own their experience with diabetes. They own their lives. Pops is there to help, but not control how each person managers their condition. And it’s that experience that is a key differentiator Pops on the market.
A second differentiator is the virtual care integration in their Pops Rebel System. Virtual care is the future of healthcare. In such an age of simple sensors and AI, Pops’ strategy is to move forward the technology to deliver continually improving virtual care and then commercializing it via a subscription service in three key pipelines – direct to employers; offering the solution commercially through health plans; and as a service vendor to the healthcare providers.
Pops is focused on its commercial growth within the US over the next few years and entering the world market, where the need for improved diabetes tools is even greater. The company believes every person using its system enables it to meet their mission of lowering the world’s A1c.
Pops’ CEO, co-founder, & sales lead, Lonny Stormo, resigned his 30-year career at Medtronic to lead Pops Diabetes Care. He served his last 11 years in Vice President roles, led the Medtronic Therapy Delivery business, and has been part of three business GM staffs. Significant portions of Lonny’s career include sales, leading development teams, and leading customer experience organizations. Lonny is on local American Diabetes Association and Rotary International boards, and he holds a BSEE degree from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and an MBA from Arizona State University.
All businesses, in short, require two key elements to germinate and grow the idea seed. The first is a differentiated technology, keeping this technology continually evolving is critical to successful sales. The second element is a business model that is ideally also differentiated from other competitors but most importantly is the one that has some proven traction and has larger growth potential.
The future of healthcare is virtual care, but the virtual care only works for sustained self-management if the two basic requirements are met – first being the technology (sensors and app) that enhance the consumer experience and the second being the intelligent coaching available in the app that adapts appropriately as per the user. Pops’ roadmap ahead is to continue to move forward the experience it provides for chronic virtual care, through improved sensors, integrating new information into the experience, and making the digital coaching more intelligent.