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50 Most Admired Companies of the Year 2020

An Interview with Russ Johannesson, Glooko, Inc. CEO: ‘We Strive to Improve Health Outcomes for People with Diabetes and Reduce Costs Associated With Diabetes Management’

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“At the outbreak of the corona pandemic telehealth quickly became a necessity, to keep people safe at home, but still get the care they need. That is why we are offering the free Remote Care solution around the world during the pandemic.”

There was a time when people who were ill-kept to their sick beds at home, but 20th-century advances in medical technology made it necessary (and beneficial) for many people to stay in the hospital for constant monitoring. However, further leaps and bounds in tech are now making it possible for some patients to have the best of both worlds by returning to the comfort of their homes while still having their vitals checked, thanks to remote patient monitoring.

Using monitoring equipment, a healthcare provider can keep tabs on a patient’s clinical data. Glucose meters, ECGs, and blood pressure monitors are among the most common types of RPM equipment used, but the array of available technologies is rapidly expanding.

In light of the foregoing, we’re pleased to present Glooko, Inc. — the universal diabetes platform that provides insights to improve outcomes for people with diabetes (PWDs) and their care teams. Glooko connects to the world’s most popular diabetes devices, major fitness and activity trackers, and supplies personalized, timely patient information such as glucose level, food, insulin, medications, blood pressure, diet, and weight data. Trusted by the world’s leaders in diabetes care, the company is in over 7,000 clinical locations and used by over 1.5 million PWDs in 26 countries across 15 languages. Glooko was incorporated in 2010 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA.

Russ Johannesson, Glooko, Inc. CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Explain your company’s products/services and the problem that they solve in healthcare.

Glooko is transforming digital health by connecting people with diabetes and their healthcare professionals, enabling telehealth, clinical research, and improved collaboration. The company’s software platforms, Glooko® and diasend®, empower diabetes management by collecting and unlocking the power of data from blood-glucose meters, CGMs, insulin pumps, pens, and activity trackers – bringing insights together in one place. Data is easily uploaded — remotely via app or in-clinic, securely shared and visualized in actionable charts and graphs. This creates a solid foundation enabling collaboration and confident treatment decisions. The platforms are compatible with over 95 percent of diabetes devices available, giving people with diabetes and their care teams the freedom of choice. As many as 2.8 million users have benefited from diabetes data insights using Glooko’s solutions, which are trusted by world leaders in diabetes care, and used in 26 countries across 15 languages.

Q. What is the reason behind the genesis of Glooko? How did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?

Our founders conceived the idea behind Glooko because each of them was personally touched by diabetes in a significant way. They set out to seamlessly release diabetes data so that insights could be delivered to both people with diabetes and their care teams, and thereby transform the way daily decisions are made by leveraging the power of mobile, cloud, and analytics.

Since then, Glooko has become an innovative international company with offices in Silicon Valley, Chicago and Europe that provides a unified platform for diabetes management. We strive to improve health outcomes for people with diabetes and reduce costs associated with diabetes management.

Q. How do you stay ahead of the competition?

Meeting the needs of our key target groups — healthcare providers and people with diabetes is how we stay ahead of the competition.

At the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic telehealth quickly became a necessity, to keep people safe at home, but still get the care they need. That is why we are offering the free Remote Care solution around the world during the pandemic. Patients can download the free solution and clinics/health systems globally can ask for a free account. The person with diabetes can then upload their device data and share with their healthcare providers, so that they can see all diabetes data as it occurs, monitor their progress remotely and then both patient and physician can have a telehealth visit to discuss their treatment plan using both the patient’s and the physician’s view of the Glooko system. People with diabetes can receive the same level of care without needing to go into the clinic. We believe that the need for telehealth will not decrease after the pandemic and will continue to develop our products to even further support remote care and telehealth.

Q. Do you formulate your core values? What is the importance of a company’s values in your opinion?

We just completed a year-long, comprehensive corporate rebranding initiative, which reflects who Glooko is today and where we are heading tomorrow. Through comprehensive research and analysis of all internal and external Glooko stakeholders, and quite frankly some soul searching, we have evolved Glooko’s mission and culture as a leader in diabetes digital health solutions, and the positive effect we have on the lives of people with diabetes. From the very start, we have been dedicated to making the lives of people with diabetes better. And we won’t stop now. Our vision is to be the foundation for decision making in diabetes care.

The values we stand for include:

  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Integrity
  • Dedication
  • People-Centered

Q. What are the factors that have been the biggest asset to your organization?

Our employees and customers are Glooko’s best assets. Without either of these, we don’t exist.

Q. What are your trajectories for the next five years?

Continued investment internally and via partnerships on all things remote; from remote patient monitoring and telehealth to virtual clinical trials as the life science and CRO partners we work with have been impacted severely by their clinical trial sites going offline due to the pandemic. Glooko’s platform of sites and patients in 26 countries (and growing) allows them to get those trials back on track.

Russ Johannesson: A Vibrant Leader

Russ Johannesson serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Glooko, Inc. He has over 25 years of healthcare and technology experience. As Glooko’s CEO, he has a vision for transforming digital health for people with diabetes and those who care for them. With his solid experience of over 25 years in healthcare and technology, Russ leads Glooko’s focus on growth and global expansion. Before Glooko, he served as the Chief Operating Officer of Sharecare, where he helped drive overall corporate strategy and growth. Before his role at Sharecare, he served as the Chief Client Officer of OptumHealth, where he was responsible for all sales, marketing, client management, support, implementation, and growth operations for the over $8.1B business.

“Through comprehensive research and analysis of all internal and external Glooko stakeholders, and quite frankly some soul searching, we have evolved Glooko’s mission and culture as a leader in diabetes digital health solutions, and the positive effect we have on the lives of people with diabetes.”