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Corporate investment arm of Singapore Economic Development Board invests in American health technology firm

EDBI, the dedicated corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) participated in a $52.5 million growth round funding for Livongo, an American consumer digital health company that provides its members with real-time, personalized insights and support to make diabetes management easier, using a combination of latest technology and coaching.

EDBI invests with a view to shaping the future industries of Singapore in the knowledge and innovation-intensive sectors of Biomedical Sciences, Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Smart & Sustainable Technology and select industry clusters under a Strategic Growth Programme. EDBI's current portfolio includes investments in 8 US-based biomedical companies and 5 Asian ones, including the two mentioned in this article. 

The Livongo glucose meter automatically uploads blood glucose readings, making them accessible online. After each reading, the user receives a real-time personalized message that provides information on managing diabetes effectively. The user’s social support system is automatically notified by text or email when blood glucose readings are out of target range.Users can track their blood glucose readings securely on the company website and get data insights based on key trends. Just like smartphones, the download of software updates and feature enhancements is enabled for the smart glucose meter. In addition, users can communicate with a Certified Diabetes Educator by phone, email, text, or mobile app.

Livongo’s diabetes management solution has been adopted by leading Fortune 500 companies, 4 of the 7 largest health plans in the U.S. and 2 of the 3 largest pharmacy benefits managers.

The new funding round is co-led by existing investor General Catalyst and international investment company Kinnevik, joined by American Investment Holdings LLC, and Microsoft Ventures, along with EDBI. The funds are expected to help Livongo accelerate growth in diabetes management, expand to other chronic conditions, and move to international markets in 2017.

Previously on March 7, EDBI and Royal Philips announced that the CXA Group, based out of Singapore, is the first recipient of funding from the joint investment partnership between the two, which aims to help high-potential digital health companies build technological capabilities to innovate, scale up and expand regionally and globally in order to address the healthcare needs of an ageing Asian population.

Employers use the CXA platform to consolidate their vendors into a one-stop marketplace, and to digitize claims, health data and payment flows between employees, employers, insurers and providers.CXA delivers solutions to companies by using data to make targeted recommendations, and by bringing the best wellness and disease management providers. The partnership was announced in early 2016, instead of purely offering advice, .

At the time, Mr. CHOO Heng Tong, Executive Vice President, Investments, EDBI said, “While there is significant value in harnessing data as a digital asset to better personalize health and wellness decisions for individuals, the Asian healthcare sector operates differently from the West where digital health solutions have taken root. We will continue to identify key game-changers which are capable of transforming Singapore’s healthcare sector with their disruptive technologies.”

In addition to the funding, CXA can benefit from integrating Philips’ leading health monitoring solutions and services to track employees’ vital signs and provide them with targeted guidance, aided by clinical algorithms, to help them prevent and manage chronic conditions. CXA also plans to leverage Philips’ digital health platform to analyse data and generate meaningful insights.

Featured image: Livongo press center

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