Kakao Healthcare partners with Novo Nordisk for digital diabetes service

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Kakao Healthcare, the digital healthcare business of South Korean internet company Kakao Corporation, has partnered with Novo Nordisk to further develop its diabetes management service powered by mobile and AI technologies.

The two organisations recently signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a smart healthcare service to support patients with diabetes. According to a press release, Kakao Healthcare’s digital diabetes management service, Project Gamma, will feature the French medical device company BIOCORP’s Mallya smart sensor, which Novo Nordisk plans to release in South Korea some time this year.

Mallya, a smart sensor that attaches to a pre-filled insulin pen, will enable users to automatically collect and record their daily insulin injection data, including the number of insulin units and date and time. The data are transmitted via Bluetooth to the Project Gamma app where patients can view their dosage logs in real-time, empowering patients to manage their own conditions anytime, anywhere. 

Later, Mallya will be synced with the hospital information systems of the patients’ healthcare providers.

WHY IT MATTERS

This latest digital diabetes collaboration could not come at a more opportune time when diabetes cases are rising. 

Today, there are about six million adults, or about one in every six people, who live with diabetes in South Korea, based on the latest statistics provided by the ​​Korean Diabetes Association. Their count is expected to rise as the population ages at a quicker pace.

THE LARGER TREND

Kakao Healthcare has been involved in both local and international initiatives to support patients with diabetes by promoting digital diabetes management. Its collaboration with Novo Nordisk followed its recent signing of a global partnership with Dexcom to set up a diabetes management service starting in South Korea later this year. 

Meanwhile, Novo Nordisk tied up with Health2Sync in Taiwan to enable the latter’s mobile health app to sync dose logs from the NovoPen smart insulin pens, as well as offer a patient support programme. 

ON THE RECORD

“South Korea is one of the countries with the most advanced digital environment in the world, and in particular, its healthcare AI innovation is surprisingly dynamic and exciting. Unfortunately, however, South Korea is ageing at the fastest pace in the world, and the number of Korean patients with diabetes is also increasing. We are very pleased to form a strategic alliance with Kakao Healthcare, a leader in the domestic digital health field, and work together to provide practical solutions that can improve the health of six million Koreans suffering from diabetes,” Novo Nordisk President Sacha Semienchuk said in a statement.

“Through our collaboration with Novo Nordisk, patients with diabetes, whether at home or abroad, will be able to manage their health more easily and conveniently,” Kakao Healthcare CEO Hwang Hee also commented.

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