Nearly a decade ago, Lonny Stormo went fishing with his buddies Dan Davis and Curt Christensen. Stormo has Type 1 diabetes and he missed his chance at catching a large walleye because he was struggling to check his blood sugar with a standard glucose testing kit. Davis nabbed the big fish, but at that moment, Stormo caught a lunker of an idea. Why not create a fast, easy-to-use glucose test kit that integrates with a cell phone? After Stormo shared his trophy with his friends, the three men co-founded Pops Diabetes Care in 2013.
Pops Diabetes Care was selected as one of 50 companies in the MedTech Innovators 2021 Showcase and one of 25 that will also participate in MedTech’s 2021 Accelerator program. Pops’ signature product, Rebel, includes glucose testing hardware that attaches to a smartphone and a connected mobile app. The system allows users to have their kit with them at virtually all times, and helps record and track their blood sugar while providing other assistance to streamline diabetes management.
Rebel’s all-in-one, FDA-cleared test kit rests on the back of the phone. To perform a test, the user slides down the kit’s cover and presses a finger onto the “pain free pop lancets” to release a drop of blood. The kit sends the results to the app over Bluetooth. Users can view weekly and monthly reports on their phones and gain insight to optimize their personal management.
Mina, the app’s virtual assistant, sends reminders, tracks user goals, and boosts morale with encouraging messages. Users can choose to have Mina send reminders to family, friends, or care providers. Mina also works to inspire wellness habits such as walking, smiling, spending time outdoors, and other lifestyle hacks that positively impact diabetes symptoms.
For people with diabetes, Rebel means not having to carry a bulky test kit, struggle to test in public restrooms, manually log glucose levels, or miss out on the action. Those benefits increase compliance and motivate users to keep improving their numbers. Stormo, Davis, and Christensen sure did catch a big ‘un. And Rebel is a keeper.