Startups, Devices & Diagnostics

Medtronic veteran raises $1.2M to bring consumer-centric diabetes management device to market

Treehouse Health was among the angel and private investors in the Stillwater, Minnesota-based device company.

POPS! Diabetes app and device

POPS! Diabetes Care app and device

Stillwater, Minnesota-based POPS! Diabetes Care has raised more than $1.2 million to bring what Lonny Stormo, CEO and cofounder of the business, believes is a more consumer-focused approach to a diabetes management device to market.

Stormo, a 30-year veteran of Medtronic, confirmed the Form D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in a phone interview this week and noted that POPS! raised $500,000 last year. The company’s mobile device, integrated onto the back of a smartphone, takes a blood sample and delivers a blood-glucose reading through a companion app with less pain and in fewer steps than rival devices, Stormo claimed. He said the company planned to submit an application for 510(k) clearance of the device to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration later this year.

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Stormo said investors in the Seed round included angel and private investors but he would only name one investor: Treehouse Health. The Minneapolis accelerator fostered an ecosystem for healthcare startups from legal advice to a network of healthcare partners.

The idea behind the device and app is to support diabetes patients without adding to their fatigue, said Stormo, who has Type 1 diabetes. The device enables users to discreetly test blood glucose levels during the day with an integrated blood glucose meter connected through their smartphones through Bluetooth. Users get mobile alerts to do the test. The device includes a stationary lancet and a one-step process for getting a glucose reading.

“When you live with diabetes for the rest of life, the burden you get from using an app should not be higher than the result you get from the app,” Stormo said. He observed that many devices that are supposed to be geared for consumers but feel very clinical. the goal of POPS! Diabetes Care is to produce a tool that feels more like a consumer product and less like a medical device.

The app is supported by a software-as-a-service component that enables loved ones and a physician to review glucose readings and information about whether users have taken their medications for a given day.

The company is also working with Children’s Minnesota on a product geared for pediatric diabetes patients, according to POPS! Diabetes Care’s website.

Asked how the business expects to compete with medical device giants such as Johnson & Johnson, Stormo answered this way.

“One way we can compete is through a focus on our innovation to improve the consumer experience,” he said. “We are not encumbered by the larger existing business and having to defend marketshare.”