Moving into the mainstream, glucose tracking startups are gaining traction.
For context: Using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and software to read blood glucose levels in real time, consumers are gaining a better understanding of lifestyle factors related to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and more.
In Europe, and especially the UK, the effort to combat chronic conditions stemming from metabolic dysfunction could really use some reinforcements.
- ~61M Europeans have diabetes, a number expected to balloon 13% by 2045.
- Between 2016–2021, diabetes diagnoses for under-40 individuals in the UK jumped 23%.
- One-third of UK adults over 50 have metabolic syndrome, the condition of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure at the same time.
- Across Europe, obesity causes 200K cases of cancer and 1.2M premature deaths annually.
The latest: Boston-based Levels, a CGM platform that recommends lifestyle changes for diet, activity, and sleep, opened its UK waitlist.
Worldwide. Backed by nearly US$60M in funding, an international rollout has long been Levels’ plan, but it won’t be the first CGM-equipped health platform expanding its footprint.
- Glasgow-based myLevels uses CGM data and manual food logging to deliver personalised nutrition recommendations.
- Finnish startup Veri uses real-time blood glucose levels to help users adopt healthier habits.
- India-based Ultrahuman uses a CGM patch and its own smart ring to deliver performance insights.
- Brazil-based Liti closed a US$4M seed round last fall to accelerate development of its metabolic health platform focused on weight loss.
Of note, these startups rely on CGM hardware from manufacturers Dexcom or Abbott, who are also vying for growth in both clinical and consumer settings.
Dexcom’s G7 device launched in Europe last October and will expand to Asia in 2024. Abbott, meanwhile, recently invested €440M to scale up EU operations for its FreeStyle Libre ecosystem.
Looking ahead: Gaining adoption, the rise of glucose monitoring mirrors broader trends in health wearables: personalised data, real-time feedback, and customised recommendations that go well beyond activity tracking alone.