| March 14, 2019

Livongo unveils voice-enabled blood pressure monitoring system at SIGNUM 2019

Anca Spanu

Anca's career in journalism spans over 2 decades. She has served as staff writer, editor and deputy chief editor at... Anca's career in journalism spans over 2 decades. She has served as staff writer, editor and deputy chief editor at various media outlets all over the world. At Healthcare Weekly, Anca writes about current events, innovations in the healthcare space and events/ conferences with a focus on investing & startups.

Applied health signals company Livongo Health unveiled its new voice-enabled cellular blood pressure monitoring system powered by Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly, during their invitation-only conference SIGNUM 2019 in San Francisco, CA.

SIGNUM 2019 and the Applied Health Signals

Livongo, the leading Applied Health Signals company helping people with chronic conditions to better manage their illnesses and live healthier lives, announced, February 28th, the start of the invitation-only SIGNUM 2019 conference, which took place in San Francisco, CA.

More than 200 of Livongo’s clients and members were brought together in this conference: leading behavioral and data scientists, clinicians, venture capitalists, and media. All came to take part in interactive and interdisciplinary debates the main focus of which was the U.S. chronic condition epidemic.

SIGNUM 2019 included keynotes from prominent healthcare industry leaders such as Aneesh Chopra, President of CareJourney and former United States Chief Technology Officer, Mark Ganz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cambia Health Solutions, Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., MBA, President of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health, Hemant Taneja, Managing Director of General Catalyst. The panels were completed by executives from Abbott Diabetes Care, Delta, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, SAP, US Foods, Voya, and Willis Towers Watson. Experts from fields other than healthcare also came to SIGNUM, including two New York Times best-selling authors, both relevant for an industry trying to promote healthy behaviours. These are Daniel Pink, whose recent book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, tries to explain why the moment in which we do something is so relevant, and Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, whose recent book Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, explores the difference between what people do and what they declare they do.

Extensive hands-on, experiential, and small-group sessions were included in the conference, all with the goal of encouraging the catalysis of novel approaches and connections that provide solutions to managing chronic conditions.

75 percent of all healthcare industry spending is related to chronic conditions, since approximately 1801,2 million Americans are suffering  today from at least one chronic condition. Livongo is enabling its Members to make important health changes by aggregating and interpreting data, and by delivering health signals in the way most useful to its members. Its Applied Health Signals solution is leading to a better member experience and improved clinical and financial outcomes.

“Livongo is on a mission to transform the healthcare experience for millions of people living with chronic conditions every day,” said Livongo Executive Chairman Glen Tullman. “SIGNUM is about bringing our clients and Members together with industry leaders across a wide spectrum of disciplines to make healthcare less confusing, less complex, and less costly for everyone. Our goal is to further the conversation and create a community of key stakeholders committed to advancing Applied Health Signals solutions and making it easier for people living with chronic conditions to get and stay healthy.”

Why is blood pressure monitoring so important?

The importance of being aware of how high one’s blood pressure forms a direct connection to crucial health risks. Basically, the higher your blood pressure is, the higher your risk of developing health issues.

High blood pressure puts extra strain on the arteries and on the heart. In time, this particular strain can cause the arteries to become thicker and less flexible, or weaker.

Thicker, less flexible arteries become more narrow, and more likely to become clogged. An artery that has become completely clogged, can lead to a heart attack, a stroke, kidney disease or dementia.

Sometimes, more rarely, an artery weakens, and may eventually burst. This may also cause a heart attack or stroke.

About 75 million American adults (29%), one in every three people, have high blood pressure. Anyone can develop this condition, including children. It greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.

Keeping the blood pressure under control is even more important when patients are suffering from other chronic conditions.

“Livongo is creating a truly consumer-friendly solution to drive positive outcomes for their Members managing their chronic conditions in their daily lives. We are seeing these results through our own use of Livongo to support our employees and enable them to better manage their diabetes and reduce their healthcare costs,” said Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., MBA, President of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health. “By better understanding how their advanced Applied Health Signals solution is actually used, Livongo can provide the support that people living with chronic conditions need during the vast majority of time they spend outside of an actual clinical setting.”

The Livongo for Hypertension Voice Experience

During SIGNUM 2019, Livongo demonstrated its full product suite and presented new product innovations, which use a new type of technology, called Applied Health Signals. These capabilities combine data science, behavior enablement, and clinical impact to positively alter  the healthcare experience of people suffering from chronic conditions.

“SIGNUM brings our Members, partners, clients, and industry innovators together to discuss how we can continue transforming the healthcare experience for people living with chronic conditions,” said Dr. Jennifer Schneider, M.D., M.S., President of Livongo. “Our new Amazon Lex powered cellular blood pressure monitoring system is a great example of the collaborative efforts Livongo is taking to advance healthcare and reach more people who prefer voice as a communication channel.”

The Livongo for Hypertension voice experience will provide Members with the ability to easily interact with Livongo via voice. For example, after a high blood pressure reading, The “Cuff to Cloud™” experience will instantly and effortlessly upload readings to Livongo’s AI+AI™ engine. This will deliver a real-time and personalized voice Health Nudge™ to Members, after every blood pressure check, suggesting changes to their nutrition to help lower sodium intake.

This enables a new way to deliver actionable, personalized, and timely health signals that drive behavior change and positive clinical outcomes.

“It’s exciting to introduce products that change the way people think about and experience chronic conditions. We did that in diabetes, with unlimited free strips, cellular-connected meters, insights and care accessible 24 hours a day anywhere, all of which made it easier for our members to stay healthy. Now we’re doing the same thing for hypertension,” Chief Product Officer Amar Kendale said in prepared remarks. “By delivering blood pressure feedback in a new relevant way and by driving positive behavior change with medication incentives, we are reducing the confusion, complexity and cost of healthcare for our members. We are making healthcare less noisy and paving the way for meaningful and measurable change. That’s what Applied Health Signals is all about.”

HeartGuide is already on the market

Livongo’s device comes on the market after the original version of the HeartGuide, the first of its kind in the healthcare tech world, was revealed at CES 2018. The new improved HeartGuide smartwatch, alongside a mobile app and Alexa Skill were revealed at CES in 2019. With a reasonable price tag of $499.00, this version of the smart wearable has been on sale since January 9, 2019, and is expected to be shipped towards the end of March with free 2-day shipping if purchased on the Omron site. HeartGuide also provides recommendations based on blood pressure readings that are auto-collected from the HeartGuide watch. This gives the HeartGuide a bit of an advantage because Livongo relies on self-reporting.

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