The Silicon Review
“Our mission is to enable diabetics a means to enjoy a much better worry-free life.”
State-of-the-art technologies have the potential to assist healthcare professionals, patients, and informal carers to better manage diabetes insulin therapy, help patients understand their disease, support self-management, and provide a safe environment by monitoring adverse and potentially life-threatening situations with appropriate crisis management. In light of the above-mentioned scenario, we’re thrilled to present Alertgy Inc.
Alertgy developed a device to non-invasively monitor blood glucose levels on demand. It offers Alertgy GM, a band that is worn around a wrist that works with an app on smartphones to measure blood sugar. The company’s Alertgy GM is an inert non-invasive sensor system embedded in a wristband that provides blood glucose levels information and alerts patients with diabetes if their levels are too low or high automatically.
Alertgy was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Melbourne, Florida.
Marc Rippen, Alertgy, Inc CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below
is an excerpt.
Q. Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
The company was set up after I saved my wife, who is a brittle type 2 diabetic, from going into a coma. As a result, I resolved to develop a noninvasive wearable device that works with a phone app to alert diabetics and loved ones when their blood sugar levels are dangerously low or high and provide continuous data on present blood sugar levels and trends, so diabetics can make the best choices to manage their condition. In the company name ALERT to alert was its primary mission, the G is for glucose and the Y for why…because it is needed.
Q. How successful was your first project? Share the experience.
We built our first prototype in less than 3 months, taking a refrigerator-sized dielectric spectrometer and reducing it to the size of a cigarette pack, and then integrating it with a sensor on a wristband, and it worked the first time.
Q. What kind of responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?
No one believes this is possible; everyone wants it badly, from doctors, nurses, health care organizations, insurance companies to patients. Alertgy is meeting a presently major unmet need in a very mature market using disruptive technology. We have gotten tremendous support from investors, and groups like the American Diabetes Association, Cleveland Clinic, Ochsner Health Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield and many, many others.
Q. “Earning trust and respect of consumers all around the world is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of our actions.” How do you interpret this statement?
We believe that meeting our diabetic customers’ needs is priority number one. Alertgy is driven to provide a device and alert service that will live up to and in fact, exceed their expectations. Our mission is to enable diabetics a means to enjoy a much better worry-free life, to provide a physical means to minimize as much as possible the incredibly negative impact that diabetes has on them and their loved ones. By providing a new device every month we can continuously improve on the product.
Q. How do you stay relevant to the consumer interests and needs in this highly volatile market?
To maintain adaptability we are active participants to health technology conferences, workshops, and diabetes associations. We work with organizations like the Cleveland Clinic to set up pilots and clinical trials to optimize the application of our technology to manage diabetics. We listen to our strategic partners and potential customers to see what we need to change or how we need to approach the productization of our technology and the ease of it being able to be optimally utilized by those that need it.
Q. If you have to list five success factors, what would they be and why?
First, there has to be a major unmet need for something. Second is that you can find a technical solution that is practical and makes economic sense to support a business in providing it. Third, you have to have a team of people that can help you execute the business. Fourth you have to have a good plan that you can change as needed to adapt to things you could not predict when they happen and fifth is you have to be able to raise the money to get it all started.
Q. Do you have any new products ready to be launched?
Yes, we are getting ready to do clinical trials for a clinical version of our device.
Q. Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
We believe that we can become a billion dollar company in less than 5 years. This is validated by the fact DEXCOM, whose only product is a very invasive and expensive continuous blood glucose monitoring system has a valuation of over 10 billion dollars, with just a type 1 diabetic market (Which is less than 1 percent of the total diabetic market). Our product gives type 2 diabetics a means to track their blood glucose totally, non-invasively, continuously without chemical reactions on their skin or expensive needle sensors implanted under their skin that must constantly be replaced. The type 2 market is the other 99 percent of the obvious diabetic market. Then there is the borderline diabetic market which is one-third of the world’s population. In addition, dielectric spectroscopy can be used to look for other diseases. An example of this is that the British use it to screen for mad cow disease.
Leadership | Alertgy, Inc
Marc Rippen, CEO: Marc Rippen, a former Army Officer, has founded and/or worked with several successful high technology startups in the past, taking one from seed to public in less than two years. Most recently, Mr. Rippen was the Director of Engineering for the Stanford Research Institute Space and Marine Science Group where he managed several multimillion-dollar contracts for the development of electromagnetic sensor-based devices for DOD special operations applications from concept to fielded product in less than a year on a routine basis. Mr. Rippen also managed advanced programs for DARPA routinely taking ideas to proof of concept prototype demonstrations. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Aeronautical Science at ERAU.
Dr. Helga Rippen: Dr. Helga Rippen is the Chief Medical Officer of Alertgy, Inc.
Craig Nelson: Craig Nelson is the Chief Manufacturing/Operations Officer of Alertgy, Inc.
John Hodges: John Hodges is the Chief Technology Officer of Alertgy, Inc.
John Hubert: John Hubert is the Vice President of Engineering at Alertgy, Inc.
“We are committed to transforming how we monitor blood sugar to improve the lives of diabetics and, in the future, help people prevent diabetes.”