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The former president of 23andMe joins diabetes start-up Livongo

  • Andy Page, former 23andMe president, is joining Livongo, which helps diabetes patients manage the disease.
  • Livongo's goal is to help patients with diabetes manage their disease before they end up getting seriously ill.
  • Page was president of Google-backed 23andMe.

Andy Page, formerly president of Google-backed 23andMe, is joining Livongo, a chronic disease management start-up, as its president and chief financial officer.

Livongo's goal is to help patients with diabetes manage their disease before they end up getting seriously ill. The idea is to suggest lifestyle or medication changes well before the user ends up in the emergency room.

It does this by offering a blood glucose monitor and unlimited supplies like strips to those with diabetes, and monitoring their condition over time. A Livongo coach is available at all times to provide actionable feedback if the readings are outside of normal bounds. If there's no sign of improvement, a specialist might step in.

"The idea is to reduce strain on the health-care system," said Page, who left 23andMe earlier this year. The company presented data at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting to demonstrate that it saved $83 per participant per month on health-care costs, which was 5.8 percent lower than those not enrolled in its program.

Livongo works with payers, such as self-insured employers like Pepsi and FedEx, that are looking for ways to reduce health costs, and sells its diabetes management program directly to consumers for $49.99 per month.

Some 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes.

The company is looking to expand into monitoring other chronic conditions, including hypertension and depression.

Livongo CEO Glen Tullman left his role as the chief executive officer for Allscripts, a multibillion-dollar health IT company, to start Livongo in 2014. Tullman has seen firsthand the challenges of managing chronic ailments as the parent of a son with type 1 diabetes. Since then, Livongo has raised more than $140 million in venture capital financing.

Page didn't rule out an initial public offering, saying it would be "consistent" with Tullman's background.

Other start-ups in the space include Vida Health, founded by former Google vice president Stephanie Tilenius, and Andreessen Horowitz-backed Omada Health.