Marc Rippen: Changing lives through Technology



Diabetes is one of the top health issues facing the world today. 422 million people suffer from diabetes worldwide (8.5% of the world population) of which an estimated 29 million are in the US. Of the three types of diabetes (Type 1, Type 2, and gestational), Type 2 accounts for over 90% of the total cases of diabetes. People with diabetes are at risk for health complications including blindness, kidney failure, increased risk of heart attacks (1.8 times higher, death 1.7 times higher), strokes (hospitalization 1.5 times higher), and non-traumatic lower limb amputations.  In fact, people diagnosed with diabetes had average medical expenditures 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes. It has been estimated that the lifetime additional healthcare cost of one patient with diabetes is between $55,000 and $130,000. It is clear that diabetes has a significant impact on an individual’s health and wealth. The prevalence of diabetes and obesity (a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes) has increased dramatically from 1994 to 2014 and is expected to grow. There are 86 million Americans with pre-diabetes (1/3rd of the population) of which 15% to 30% will develop type 2 diabetes in five years.

Step into the future with Alertgy. Founded in 2016, Melbourne based Alertgy has an additional office in the Groundswell Incubator. The name Alertgy comes from A for Alert loved ones if low or high blood sugar levels are present, the G is for Glucose and the Y is for because it's needed. The purpose is to change the way people manage their Type 2 diabetes. Alertgy’s aims to do this with the help of a wearable, inexpensive, truly non-invasive blood sugar monitoring technology that delivers on-demand, provide trending information and alerts automatically if levels are too low or high by an application on a smartphone.

For this breakthrough, Alertgy was honored to be the first cohort of the Jump-Start, Plug & Play, Cleveland Clinic Health Technology Accelerator Program. Alertgy also placed first in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Ochsner Health Care NOLA Diabetes Technology Challenge.

Our values are integrity, quality, excellence and enabling health

Living with Diabetes

The origins of Alertgy trace back to when Marc's wife almost slipped into a diabetic coma due to a low blood glucose event in early 2016. He saw his wife pricking herself several times a day only to get a shot in time. With no idea if her sugar level was going up or down, it often left her mystified over the critical decision of whether it will be safe to eat or to take insulin. The morning after her blood sugar level was constantly falling which she could not diagnose. He knew he might have just lost her. He knew he had to do something about it. When he looked at what was available to prevent this from happening again, he was shocked to find that no non-invasive technology existed.

He learned that tight glycemic control can lead to better outcomes. According to the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, improving blood glucose control lowers the risk of developing diabetes-related complications by up to 50%. For Type 2 diabetic patients not using insulin, patients who self-monitor their blood glucose have been shown to have improved HBA1c levels in the short and long term according to a 2016 meta-analysis by Dr. Zhu in the BMJ.

With these insights, Marc set out to build an innovative organization that is now introducing very disruptive technology into the mature SMBG/CGM market to meet a critical need that has remained unaddressed for over 20 years. The medical diagnostic technique that his wife never had, with the end goal to make, a non-invasive blood glucose monitoring device that improves the quality of life and medical treatment of diabetics.

Game Changing Technology

The Alertgy GM band is a comfortable wrist band that has a non-invasive sensor system embedded in it. The band projects a low-power RF field into a user’s wrist and along with several sensors monitor changes in the RF field (without being invasive). The system then determines blood glucose through dielectric spectroscopy and displays real-time glucose levels on the user's smartphone.

Alertgy's system uses IoT to link the users of its technology to its cloud-based analytics platform which routinely optimizes its analytical protocol to ensure they get the most accurate data possible on their blood sugar levels, and other data that they may be interested in seeing. The platform can also be used to transmit users data at the request of their doctors and medical caregivers, to set high and low levels for alerts, to input contact information to whom 'high and low-level alerts' pings are to be sent and provide other key actionable inputs as needed by the user. Alertgy’s cutting-edge technology eliminates the need for implanted sensors, patches or devices that use chemical reactions or fluid transfer through the skin, clamped devices that use lasers or other intrusive measurement techniques.

The band is waterproof, hypo-allergenic, and can worn 24 hours a day. "We measure our success in the amazing traction that Alertgy has gained to bring their technology to market to create a better future for Diabetics", says Rippen. A future where diabetics do not have to draw blood to check blood sugar or have to stick a sensor needle under the skin and rip it out every two weeks to replace it with yet another needle. A future where all this is eliminated --no hassle, no expensive sensors to replace, no pain, no blood, no carrying around supplies or finding a private place -- to check blood sugar. "Our company is able to make this future a reality because of our expertise and ability to leverage new technologies from different sectors and apply them in innovative ways that work for people", highlights Rippen.

The company will continue to focus on developing its technology with core objectives to make a great device- one that is accurate, reliable, useable, and affordable; advance their understanding of diabetes progression and prevention, and provide value to their investors.

We think we've unlocked the secret to creating the world's first non-invasive glucose wristband monitoring system for diabetics - it could transform the entire industry.

Enabling Health

Marc E. Rippen, President and Founder

Marc is an experienced and highly skilled engineer with over 30 years of experience. He has worked for multiple fortune 500 companies, Department of Defense (DOD), NASA, SOCOM, and DARPA commercializing dozens of ground-breaking and revolutionary technologies. He holds various degrees across multiple interrelated disciplines including Microbiological Sciences and Immunology, Biophysics, Analytical Chemistry, Masters of Aeronautical Science, Management of Engineering and Technology.

Marc E. Rippen, President & Founder

Craig R. Nelson, CMO, and Co-Founder

Craig is a savvy manufacturing engineer. He brings technologies from the laboratory to the market. An expert in automated industrial manufacturing processes. A serial entrepreneur with a career based on establishing and managing technology companies spanning semiconductor thin film deposition, automated industrial and robotic manufacturing systems, and polymer lithium-ion battery development and production. Craig holds a BS in Physics from Washington & Lee University and has participated in over 12 start-up ventures in his career.

Marc and Craig Nelson, founders of the company are both type 2 diabetics. Ironically for Marc, although his father died from diabetes, only discovered he was diabetic when he was tested by his own device.

For him it's not business, Diabetes is personnel. He knows he has to because he can change lives...

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