My previous healthcare investments, save TDOC, had not been too productive and my latest ones in remote monitoring, BEAT and IRTC, are not going anywhere during this pandemic but I’m willing to be convinced provided I understand the business model, not the technology, the business model. So I asked my research assistant, Ms. Google “who are Livongo customers?”
The first most important item is the distinction between “clients” and “members.” (this is a year old article)
Livongo’s client base, which includes self-insured employers, health plans, government entities and labor unions, is growing rapidly, according to the company’s prospectus. Livongo had 218 clients by the end of 2017, 413 clients by the end of 2018 and 679 clients as March of 2019. The company’s diabetes program had 114,000 members in 2018, and by March of 2019, that number had grown to 164,000.
Unlike BEAT and IRTC, Livongo’s clients want to keep down their healthcare costs, the cost of providing healthcare to the people they are responsible for. The people using the devices are called “members” and they get the service for free. This is a terrific business model if they can deliver. Livongo does not have to deliver better healthcare even if that is a laudable goal, they just have to deliver cheaper healthcare and any accountant can figure that out. Follow the money, ROI by clients.
Digital health group Livongo has pioneered a new business model, convincing multinationals, government bodies and pharmacy benefit managers to pay for its technology, which enables users to manage chronic conditions. This approach seems to have worked, at least so far, with its third quarter revenues topping expectations.
Several companies offer apps intended to help patients manage various disorders – Glooko’s diabetes-focused software, for example, or Pear Therapeutics’ addiction management apps. But Livongo’s technology, which covers conditions including diabetes and hypertension, is paid for by employers – and even then, only if the employees actually use it.
“In the US, the person with the chronic condition doesn’t always pay for it, so they don’t have a huge incentive to reduce that cost,” Glen Tullman, Livongo’s executive chairman, tells Vantage. “The person who does pay for it in the US is either large self-insured employers – big businesses – or the government.”
Livongo’s pitch is that its technology can keep a company’s workforce healthier, reducing the insurance costs incurred by sickness and boosting productivity since staff will require less time off. Mr Tullman says it has signed up more than 770 organisations, including “almost 25% of the Fortune 500”.
More stuff found by Ms. Google
who are Livongo customers
Seen in this light, LVGO is definitively an investment opportunity.
I don’t want to be argumentative Denny but diabetes is one disease see definition…
That’s the medical definition but from a patient’s point of view, type 1 is chronic while type 2 is reversible. The problem is that doctors don’t cure or reverse type 2 diabetes, they just palliate it for life. The cure is a change in lifestyle, not something doctors study in school.
But this is off topic so let’s leave it at that