"Next-generation" medical supplier Better Health launches
A new medical supplier offering an e-commerce service to people with chronic conditions has officially launched in the US, with $3.5 million in seed funding and partnerships with Oscar Health and Humana.
The company is targeting the US $60B home medical supplies market which serves more than 80 million people with chronic conditions, with its "next-generation" model, aiming to provide a a convenient, cost-effective way to help individuals with chronic conditions buy medical supplies from home.
By becoming members, people receive personalised product recommendations and cost estimates. Better Health handles all the medical and insurance paperwork, making it easier to sort through all products available to find the one suited to their needs.
Additionally, the platform has an educational programme to help members learn skills to manage their condition at home, with one-on-one coaching, support groups, and content.
Better Health is the brainchild of co-founder and CEO Naama Stauber Breckler, a healthcare entrepreneur who previously started CompactCath, an innovative intermittent catheter solution.
Breckler came up with the idea for Better Health because she found that medical supply patients had trouble finding the right products and learning how to use them properly. "I knew there had to be a better way to help these patients" she says. "Better Health improves the lives of patients who use medical supplies by getting them the best products in a timely, cost-effective, and stress-free manner.
"More importantly, we provide our members with education and support so they’re better prepared to manage their chronic condition in the long run.”
As well as agreements with Oscar Health and Humana, the company is a Medicare-licensed provider in 48 states, in addition to working with multiple Medicaid plans.
Currently its products focus on serving patients with chronic urological conditions, but is planning to expand with more categories in the future.
Dexcom: changing the lives of people with type 1 diabetes
It is estimated that 9.3% of adults around the world are living with type 1 diabetes, which amounts to a total of 463 million people. A further 1.1 million children and adolescents under the age of 20 are living with the condition.
Unlike the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, where the body still produces insulin and symptoms develop slowly, people with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections or pumps, and must monitor their sugar levels frequently.
In recent years a number of remote glucose monitoring systems have become available that patients can use at home. These work with a sensor, usually placed under the skin, that measures glucose levels every few minutes. This information is then transmitted wirelessly to a device like a smartphone or tablet, which can then be shared with their clinician.
British actress Nina Wadia's son Aidan, 14, has type 1 diabetes, and has been managing his condition using Dexcom, a glucose monitoring system used by patients all over the world. Here Wadia explains how Dexcom has improved their lives.
As a parent of someone with type 1 diabetes, what is your day-to-day life like?
Being able to take a breath, think and pivot constantly without getting frustrated becomes an essential mindset because sometimes it feels like each day is determined to be different from the day before. Whatever worked yesterday is going to misfire today.
Which areas of yours and Aidan’s life are most impacted by diabetes?
The one thing that you have to fight hard to reclaim is spontaneity, especially when it comes to food and exercise. It’s only when this is taken do you realise how essential each one is. You can be flexible and there are no real limits, but only in the sense that a great athlete can be flexible without limits because they’ve trained super hard to be that way. So we’ve all had to become athletes when it comes to being spontaneous.
How has Dexcom helped you and Aidan?
Dexcom has brought future science fiction to real life today. The continuous glucose monitoring system is tiny, sits discreetly on his body and gives him a ten-day breather between sensor changes, so it's goodbye finger-pricking seven times daily.
Dexcom is totally active at a grass roots level and for Diabetes Awareness has pledged to donate £2,000 if #DexcomDiabetesStories and/or #DexcomWarriorStories is shared 200 times! I’ll be sharing more on social media and would love to hear how other families are winning their fights.
Maybe most importantly Dexcom is trying to introduce a reimbursement programme for type 1 diabetes patients which will give greater access to modern, life changing hi-tech. I want to spread the word on the importance of accessing it through this campaign.
If you compared your life today with how it was before Aidan was using Dexcom, what has changed?
It's always working, which lets him take his mind off diabetes for longer stretches. It also lets me get off his back. We both receive alerts so I no longer have to pester him by asking him what his number is, and especially importantly, I don’t have to wake him at night to prick his finger if I’m worried. Dexcom gave us back our sleep!