“One out of three individuals across the U.S. suffer from pre-diabetic symptoms or are prone to join the 30 million individuals who already possess the disease if they fail to properly manage their condition,” said Shmuel Hershberg, the director of user engagement at Caesarea-based DarioHealth, which announced a partnership Thursday, June 8, with brand ambassador and nine-time NBA All-Star Dominique Wilkins at a press conference with Chairman and CEO Erez Raphael in downtown Atlanta.
“The statistics are staggering when you talk about one in every two minority children in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetic systems,” said Wilkins, the all-time Atlanta Hawks great, who has diabetes. “It’s becoming an epidemic in which we have to find creative ways to manage through diet and exercise.”
After Wilkins was diagnosed with diabetes, he began looking for alternative and simple ways to manage his health while monitoring his glucose levels. That’s when he came across Dario’s blood glucose monitoring system (mydario.com).
The pocket-size device is an all-in-one glucose meter that connects to a smartphone for accurate results in measuring blood sugar levels with test strips.
“It’s on the cusp of wearable technology,” Hershberg said.
Since its launch less than two years ago, the Israeli device has reached tens of thousands of users across the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the United States. It can be used with an iPhone and soon with Android devices, Raphael said.
Controlling health factors associated with diabetes is particularly important to Raphael, whose father died from complications with Type 2 diabetes. That experience led him to start DarioHealth in 2011 to help bring awareness about health risks involved with the chronic disease.
“The concept started from the number of users,” Raphael said. “After examining the overall industry regarding glucose monitoring devices, we thought we needed a revolution regarding medical devices for consumers.”
The device is just a foot in the door for Dario, however, as it branches out.
“We believe a highly centric solution that is digitalized can help people manage their health better, live longer and participate in preconditioned activities when they send the right information to the right people at the right time,” Raphael said. “At the end of the day, when we are dealing with chronic conditions, it’s about us. We need to take care of ourselves.”
The partnership between Dario and Wilkins arose after the Hawks player wanted a simple and convenient way to track his health and sought to encourage people to make easy lifestyle changes.
“I’ve been able to use the device for quite a while now and look forward to sharing it with others,” Wilkins said. “Dario is a launching pad and platform which provides individuals another option, and I’ve always believed that I could find every option to help people’s lives be easier in managing diabetes.”
The company hopes to expand its software to treat additional chronic conditions. “The more users we can get engaged, the better they will be able to take care of themselves in an easy and effective way,” Raphael said. “Treating a chronic condition is like being your own doctor 24/7, but the technology we are building may help individuals cope with their condition accurately.”