Interview with Fredrik Debong

Check out the interview with Fredrik Debong, Head of Research & Development at mySugr

What is your elevator pitch?

mySugr is the most used, popular and beloved diabetes app in the world, with over 1.4 million users in over 60 countries. The app is a registered medical device in the US and in the EU. The team, led by people with diabetes, is striving to make diabetes suck less. Since last year we have also been working with insurance companies, bundling the app with hardware and coaching by Certified Diabetes Educators, assisted by algorithms to help the right people at the right time. Currently mySugr’s digital diabetes solution gets reimbursed by six German health insurance companies, with a total of 15 million lives covered, and it is just starting in the US. Our focus now lies on reaching even more countries, growing our team to achieve more and, just as it was during our early days, to make diabetes suck less.

How much has your pitch changed over the last 1-2 years? If so, why?

Our pitch has changed a lot! Coming from being an app company to having outcome-based contracts with insurance companies offering the mySugr Bundle, there have been a lot of firsts and goals reached.

What is your personal health mission – what are you doing for a healthier world?

You may have heard it before, but it’s simply to make diabetes suck less!

Looking to 2019, What do you see as digital healthcare’s biggest challenges?

Digital health is becoming “normal”, it is no longer something new and unique. As a company in this space, you now have to bring proof to the table, not just clinical and regulatory but also showing health economic outcomes. This is a big change to the startup ecosystem. The field is maturing from being a “nice news” piece to being seen as a therapeutic intervention or service.

What will be achieved in 2019?

We will launch mySugr in a number of new countries, spreading the bundle further on the European market, and we will also see more and more health care systems in the US jump on the bandwagon. We have exciting co-operations with partners like Novo Nordisk coming up, where we will sync insulin data from their new connected insulin pen, adding more relevant medical data to our systems. The mySugr app is also getting revamped, but I cannot tell you much more about that at this point.

In the tech sector we talk a lot about AI – what is your take on its role in healthcare?

Data driven methods enable us to bring advice and help to the right person at the right time, which is how health care should work. Many are jumping on the AI-bandwagon, and the tools have their benefits – but often the simplest methods are the most efficient ones.

The interview has been originally published on the special issue of CoFounder