Why did Firstime invest in Hygieia

A brief history of Hygieia 

Taking insulin is a very mundane task for patients with diabetes, one of the most common chronic diseases in the world. Most people need 1 to 4 injections per day for blood sugar regulation. The insulin dosage is adjusted by doctors after considering the daily changes in the patient’s body. In addition, treating the disease is expensive. According to the American Diabetes Association, “people with diagnosed diabetes account for more than 1 in 5 health care dollars in the U.S.”

With the stakes so high, in 2008, Eran Bashan and Israel Hodish, two researchers at the University of Michigan, founded Hygieia and developed d-Nav to make insulin therapy safer and more effective without increasing the burden on the healthcare system.

The d-Nav program, with FDA-cleared technology, has been thoroughly tested, reviewed, and patented internationally over the last decade. The company expanded its clinical treatment from Northern Ireland in 2013 to the US at the beginning of 2019. 

To date, the company has 20 employees, has generated a total of $13M in revenues, and raised ~$17M in funding from various family offices, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), Conductive Technologies, and Oakwood Medical Investors. 

Addressing the elephant in the room: Insulin mismanagement and inefficiency 

Globally, type 2 diabetes affects more than 450 million people. More than 30 million people in the US have type 2 diabetes. More than 7 million Americans with type 2 diabetes use insulin, and more than $14 billion is spent on insulin annually in the US. Yet nearly two-thirds of the patients don’t get successful results and experience disease-related symptoms. 

This poses a major problem in a massive subsector of pharma – insulin mismanagement. In monetary terms, over $175 billion in healthcare expenses arise due to health complications that are caused by insulin mismanagement amongst Americans with type 2 diabetes. 

A single patient needs 50-100 dosage adjustments a year for effective insulin treatment. Primary care physicians are responsible for these adjustments, but they often lack the time or expertise to accommodate this process of insulin treatment. Most patients only visit their doctor maybe 2 or 3 times a year. It is no wonder that the problem here is not drug efficacy but rather drug administration. This is where Hygieia intends to fill this gap.   

Enter Hygieia: A patented and FDA-approved insulin management program

The US-based start-up Hygieia is looking to improve the lives of millions of people with type 2 diabetes in the US, the UK, and the EU so far. Its revolutionary D-Nav® insulin management program is an FDA-approved program that transforms insulin management through a mobile app that guides patients to optimize insulin doses at home based on their changing glucose levels. With the use of patented technology, artificial intelligence, and virtual clinical support to automate insulin titration based on each patient’s unique needs. 


To use the d-Nav program, patients insert their glucose test strips into the handheld device. The patient’s information is uploaded to the cloud to be analyzed. Artificial intelligence and a proprietary algorithm are applied to make an insulin dose recommendation, based on the current reading and patient historical data, for each injection throughout the day and week.

The great thing is that the program is covered by most insurance carriers, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, allowing physicians to refer cases with confidence. That means Hygieia profits from the savings healthcare providers achieve as a result of this program, rather than directly charging the end-users (the patients). This is a proven win-win-win; patients feel better, insurance and healthcare providers save money, and Hygieia fills the gap. 

Why did we invest in Hygieia?

The global digital diabetes management market is predicted to grow at an annual rate of almost 20 percent, reaching a size of $27 billion in 2026. As mentioned before, 450 million people suffer from type 2 diabetes. Again, over 7 million Americans, or in other words, one-fifth of type 2 diabetes patients, could benefit from Hygieia’s solution in the United States. Therefore, Hygieia can potentially serve a fourth of the 450 million people globally – i.e., 100+ mil – in a market that will double every four years. 

Furthermore, Hygieia’s business model is not just a theory – it has strong proof of concept and scalability. So far, over 4 million doses have been prescribed by Hygieia’s program. That’s no small feat, especially considering the regulatory difficulties of this space. The D-Nav® program has FDA approval and is CE marked, with over 100 global patents securing the technology that makes this solution possible. We believe Hygieia has the traction and the first mover advantage to keep leading this breakthrough.



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