Biotech veteran comes to mhealth market as WellDoc president

Mhealth apps developer WellDoc has tapped the biotech industry for a new president as it prepares to roll out its BlueStar platform — its FDA-cleared mobile health app to improve patient engagement for people with Type 2 diabetes, according to a company statement. The move to hire Kevin McRaith illustrates the narrowing connections between pharmaceutical […]

Mhealth apps developer WellDoc has tapped the biotech industry for a new president as it prepares to roll out its BlueStar platform — its FDA-cleared mobile health app to improve patient engagement for people with Type 2 diabetes, according to a company statement.

The move to hire Kevin McRaith illustrates the narrowing connections between pharmaceutical and mhealth spaces. It fits into a vision for the future of mobile technology in healthcare in which physicians prescribe apps as they would a drug.

McRaith has 20 years of biotech industry experience including the launch of new products. In a  statement, the former CEO of Human Genome Sciences, where McRaith served as vice president of sales and marketing, said McRaith was instrumental in the launch of the first lupus drug in 50 years. “I know he will have tremendous success at WellDoc in pioneering a new therapeutic class of products known as Mobile Prescription Therapies.”

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McRaith has also worked at Abbott, Genentech and Baxter.

WellDoc’s current president, Dr. Anand Iyer, will take on a new role as chief data science officer. In that position, he’ll work on enhancements to predictive modeling and WellDoc’s analytics engine, according to a company statement.

In the run-up to commercialization of Bluestar later this year, WellDoc raised a $20 million Series A round led by the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund. In 2013, it launched a mobile diabetes intervention tool for physicians. Bluestar gives users real-time feedback based on the user’s personal health data in areas such as medications, blood sugar readings, diet and exercise. It also provides content to boost users’ health literacy and motivational support.

Although the app is already in the market, available through employer plans at companies such as Ford and RiteAid, the hire reflects a bigger sales and marketing push by the mobile health company.

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