Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Glooko Solicitation: What's in it for me?

This morning, I received a peculiar email. The email was from my endocrinologist's office (well, sort of, it was actually sent from Glooko). The subject line said "New York Presbyterian Medical Group created a Glooko account for your diabetes data". 

I was actually a little creeped-out by it, but because I had a very vague idea of what Glooko actually was, I did not instantly delete it. Still, I have no connection to Glooko (in fact, I have never once given the company my email address, nor have I ever asked them for more information, which means they attained it from my endocrinologist's office).

Some of the issue is because until 2019, Glooko actually CHARGED patients a subscription fee for individuals not sponsored through their provider, health plan, or employer (see the press release at https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190305005039/en/Glooko-Mobile-App-Now-Free-For-All-People-with-Diabetes%21 announcing that Glooko was dropping its patient subscription fee). 

With all due respect, sorry, but I was definitely not interested in PAYING a health tech startup for its advice which may not even be useful. I saw that as a tool which might help people who are not on the cusp of getting their Joslin 50 year medal (catch my post about approaching that at https://blog.sstrumello.com/2023/04/approaching-half-century-of-life-with.html), hence it appeared to me to offer more benefit to people who are new to diabetes. I saw no real need for or benefit to using Glooko, and even less apparent benefit so that a private company could mine my personal health information in order to sell it (even if anonymized) to others.

I could potentially still be persuaded, but my expectation is that the company needs to send me a FREE Glooko universal uploader cable for capturing fingerstick meter glucose data. I'll be damned if they expect me to pay for that, while Glooko sells my personal data.

In the end, while entities like Glooko are trying to position themselves as a way to sync your devices through your smart phone or home computer without the need to visit your doctor's office, that shifts the burden to me as the patient to do all the work the medical assistants at my endo's office do on my behalf. The old Diabetes Mine had an article from 2022 written about Glooko (see https://www.healthline.com/diabetesmine/glooko-diabetes-data-company for the article). Maybe I've become an oldster with T1D, but so far, the company's FDA approval for its long-acting insulin titration app for people with Type 2 diabetes (basal only Type 2's) has zero appeal for me.

At this point, Glooko needs to do more work to persuade me that it's even worth the effort.

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