Healthcare startup uses Internet of Things to manage chronic conditions

An early stage health IT business wants to pull data from bluetoothed-enabled tracking devices and aggregate electronic health record data so people, particularly those with obesity and Type 2 diabetes, can improve the way they manage their health. The plan is to roll it out as a direct to consumer platform before expanding into a […]

An early stage health IT business wants to pull data from bluetoothed-enabled tracking devices and aggregate electronic health record data so people, particularly those with obesity and Type 2 diabetes, can improve the way they manage their health. The plan is to roll it out as a direct to consumer platform before expanding into a business to business to consumer model.

In a phone interview with Star Cunningham she said she founded 4D Healthware so patients can view how their activity and food choices directly impacts their health. But more than that, it hopes to spur behavior change and improve the quality of patients’ interactions with doctors. Its name derives from the four modules it for which it wants to gather data: weight management, medication management, diabetes management and cardio management.

Cunningham brings to the company both her technology background from IBM and her experience as a patient living with Crohn’s disease.

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A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

The company works out of the 1871 incubator in Chicago.  It also recently participated in the HealthXL accelerator program.

It offers the platform through a monthly subscription. Consumers will pay out-of-pocket for the service. But in the near future, it sees small, self insured companies with 15,000 to 25,000 employees among its target customers. It’s also in talks with insurers about offering the platform as part of an employer plan.

“When you can get diabetics to change behavior and lose weight and eat right that itself is a silver bullet, but first we have to get through the process of getting there.”

It has a lot of plans for expanding the platform. It plans to add consumer access to genomic data, academic research and environmental data to personalize healthcare more. It also plans to include other chronic conditions and support the Web-based program with mobile apps. But for the next stage of expansion the company, which has been bootstrapped to this point, is looking to raise $1 million.

4D Healthware does face a lot of competition with other companies that see the Internet of Things route as a great way to de-silo information and put data in front of patients and doctors where it can have the biggest impact. It will be interesting to see how its business model evolves.