Kakao Healthcare, the digital healthcare arm of South Korean tech giant Kakao Corporation, has joined forces with Novo Nordisk to enhance its diabetes management service, leveraging mobile and AI technologies. The strategic collaboration aims to provide comprehensive support to diabetes patients and marks a significant step in the digital transformation of healthcare.

Under a recently signed memorandum of understanding, the two companies will introduce a smart health service designed to assist individuals with diabetes. This initiative is especially timely as the prevalence of diabetes continues to rise, with approximately six million adults in South Korea, or one in six people, living with the condition, according to the Korean Diabetes Association.

Kakao Healthcare’s digital diabetes management service, known as Project Gamma, will integrate the Mallya smart sensor from French medical device firm BIOCORP. Novo Nordisk plans to launch the Mallya sensor in South Korea later this year.

The Mallya sensor attaches to pre-filled insulin pens and automates the collection and recording of daily insulin injection data, including dosage amounts and timestamps. Data is transmitted via Bluetooth to the Project Gamma app, where patients can access their dosing records in real-time, empowering them to manage their condition effectively from anywhere.

In the future, Mallya will be integrated with hospital information systems, facilitating seamless coordination of care between healthcare providers.

Kakao Healthcare’s collaboration with Novo Nordisk aligns with its commitment to promoting digital diabetes management both locally and globally. This partnership follows the recent announcement of a global collaboration with Dexcom to establish a diabetes management service based in South Korea.

Novo Nordisk has also been proactive in enhancing diabetes care. In Taiwan, the company partnered with Health2Sync to enable its mobile health app to synchronize dosage logs from NovoPen smart insulin pens and offer comprehensive patient support programs.

South Korea is one of the countries with the most advanced digital environment in the world, and in particular, its healthcare AI innovation is surprisingly dynamic and exciting. Unfortunately, South Korea is aging at the fastest rate in the world, and the number of Korean diabetes patients is also increasing. We are very pleased to form a strategic alliance with Kakao Healthcare, a leader in national digital health, and to work together to provide practical solutions that can improve the health of six million Koreans suffering from diabetes,” said Novo Nordisk President Sacha Semienchuk in a statement.

Kakao Healthcare CEO Hwang Hee expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, emphasizing how it would benefit diabetes patients both in South Korea and globally. “Through our collaboration with Novo Nordisk, diabetes patients whether at home or abroad will be able to manage their health more easily and conveniently” he stated.

This partnership signifies a significant stride in harnessing digital technology to empower patients and enhance the quality of diabetes care, with the potential to impact millions of lives in South Korea and beyond.