The Silicon Review
Globally there are just under half a billion people living with diabetes, and the number is expected to rise by 25 percent by the end of 2030 and 51 percent by 2045. The rise in diabetes level can be linked to two main factors: an increase in rates of obesity and changing environment. Monitoring your blood sugar level regularly is very important in managing your diabetes. You can easily understand what makes your number go up or down, like consumption of medicine, physical activity, and food habits. Making the right decisions can help you prevent or delay complications tied to diabetes such as kidney disease, stroke, blindness, amputation, and heart attack.
Various companies are now providing excellent solutions to monitor blood glucose levels, but Alertgy stands out from the rest. Alertgy provides the first non-invasive wearable continuous glucose monitor and alert system to measure the true blood glucose. It sets people with diabetes free from having to think about taking glucose measurements by allowing for fully automated, continuous monitoring with pre-set alerts for low or high glucose levels, as set by the user. The medical device and diagnostic industry are constantly growing and changing, with new technologies being introduced to the market all the time. Alertgy is entering a new era of medicine that will be significantly impacted by the incredible growth and breakthroughs in wearables, cloud-based IoT sensor systems, application of AI, and digital health. Alertgy was founded in 2015 and is based in Melbourne, Florida.
In conversation with Marc E. Rippen, President and Founder of Alertgy
Q. What are the challenges you had to face while developing your solutions? How did you overcome them?
Throughout the initial three years of development, we have faced a few challenges and had to overcome them. Initially, we had to determine our device's correct placement to maximize our accuracy and reliability over a long-term period. After this was established, we have focused on sensor development in order to get the highest quality data and stability within our device. This is an ever-evolving process inside our research and development team, and we will continue to improve our device so we can deliver the highest quality product to our customers when we begin manufacturing.
Q. Tell us about the importance of monitoring Type 2 diabetes and the capabilities of your sensors.
Type 2 diabetes is a greatly overlooked disease. There are currently 400M diabetics worldwide, and the situation is starting to resemble an epidemic. While people with type 1 diabetes must stay compliant with insulin management, Type 2's are largely unconcerned with the onset of diabetes and what it can do to their bodies. As a result, 1/3 of all US hospital admissions come from Type 2 diabetes complications, such as strokes, organ failure, necrosis, sepsis, and limb amputations. This exacts a heavy toll on the healthcare system, which is already strained from COVID 19. Alertgy's sensor is designed to provide surveillance and alerts to Type 2 diabetics, which represent 95% of all people with diabetes and, more importantly, 1/3 of the US population that is so-called pre-diabetic or borderline diabetic. With DeepGluco, they will no longer have to prick themselves, wear 14-day invasive arm patches, 90 implantable sensors, or experience discomfort, rashes, or bleeding. Instead, a convenient wristband will track their glucose levels and provide real-time alerts. In essence, one can say that our sensor is almost specifically designed to provide efficacy for the Type 2 and borderline diabetic populations.
Q. How does your solution align with the existing medical practice?
Since the introduction of Dexcom and Abbott gluco patch product, the healthcare ecosystem has started to pay great attention to the innovation in continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology. Increased mainstream acceptance, as well as FDA approvals, has paved the way for the next generation of non-invasive CGMs to enter the market. In recent times Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance document, the agency clears the way for reimbursement of CGMs for their consumer population, which represents a great milestone for Alertgy. Bottom line, Alertgy's DeepGluco product will make life easier for patients with diabetes and the borderline diabetic populations by allowing their HCPs to monitor, diagnose and treat the disease preventatively.
Q. What are the areas covered by your patent? And how well the patent has contributed to your success?
Alertgy was issued a utility patent in August 2020, with all claims accepted. The patent covers the working of the dielectric sensor in a blood glucose medium. We are currently applying for two additional related patents to add to the portfolio. Being able to secure a patent was a major milestone in the company's development process, which also validates our approach to the problem and the ensuing solution.
Q. Tell in brief about the new revenue streams generated by your solutions.
Our business model consists of reselling our monthly glucose data management services through licenses with established strategics in the diabetes space and channel partners. The goal is to charge a $30/month per patient data management fee (surveillance and alerts), which can be marked up accordingly by the partner/distributor. The Type 2 market is currently greatly untapped and underserved, representing tens of billions of dollars in revenue annually.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
We are currently exploring various grant opportunities with state and federal agencies to develop a mask borne sensor for early detection and alert of COVID 19 and other viral infection, as we have identified literature that favorable reviews this opportunity. Depending on funding, this capability could be developed in 12 months.
Meet the leader behind the success of Alertgy
Marc E. Rippen is the President and Founder of Alertgy. He is an experienced and highly skilled engineer with over 30 years of experience. He has worked for multiple fortune 500 companies, Department of Defense (DOD), NASA, SOCOM, and DARPA commercializing dozens of ground-breaking and revolutionary technologies. He holds various degrees across multiple interrelated disciplines including Microbiological Sciences and Immunology, Biophysics, Analytical Chemistry, Masters of Aeronautical Science, Management of Engineering and Technology. Marc is a serial entrepreneur who took couple of start-ups from seed to public and prides himself in doing the impossible by solving scientific problems that confound the world of digital health today. More importantly, he is personally vested in the building and commercializing of a fully non-invasive, wristband glucometer that alerts the patient of any dangerous glucose levers and helps them manage their diabetes with more confidence.