July 11, 2018

Q & A with Charlie O'Connell, founder, GlucoseZone

Charlie O'Connell.

New Haven Biz speaks with Charlie O'Connell, founder of GlucoseZone, a New Haven-based digital health program that assists diabetic clients with custom-made exercise plans based on their health readings at any given moment. O'Connell's company, Fitscript, LLC, recently partnered with the American Diabetes Association to promote exercise as a key component in the prevention and management of diabetes.

Q. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes and prediabetes impact the lives and health of more than 114 million Americans, not to mention millions more around the globe. How will this partnership address that?

A. Our partnership with the ADA is huge. The ADA has endorsed GlucoseZone as the recommended digital exercise solution to their entire membership base (500,000 members and growing). We were the only non-pharmaceutical-based product exhibiting at the ADA event this year, and commend the ADA for embracing digital solutions like GlucoseZone for people living with diabetes.

Q. How did your own experience with diabetes lead to GlucoseZone and speciality training for a health condition?

A. I founded GlucoseZone out of my own personal frustration with the lack of guidance and information available to me related to diabetes and exercise. Now, with each person we help, it becomes clearer that GlucoseZone is a true digital health solution that millions of people around the globe can use to reduce, reverse and control their diabetes.

Q. In what ways does science factor into the program and how do you keep it current and ever-changing?

A. Science and data play a huge role in the GlucoseZone program. In our GlucoseZone laboratory, we meticulously track the correlating variables that impact diabetes during and after exercise.

We use wearable tech to track biometric information such as heart-rate levels, glucose levels, insulin levels and other diabetes-related information. We then translate that research into actionable and practical advice for our global users, all delivered through our GlucoseZone app.

For example, if a user enters in a blood sugar level of 100, they will receive a much different exercise solution than if they entered in a level of 200, all based on the info coming from their wearable technology or diabetes profile.

Q. You market it as an app that works globally. How do you factor in varying locations and cultures?

A. One thing that is unique and exciting about our live programming is the time difference between our users. When we go live, some of our users are waking up to do morning exercise, while others are just getting off of work.

Ultimately, the differences in location add to the experience and foster a global community and connects people around the world with common solutions. From a language perspective, our app is also available in Espanol, and we even have a fully translated Arabic version of GlucoseZone on YouTube.

Q. The company is growing, having recently attracted $4.5 million in Series A funding. How are you able to use that to expand your scope?

A. Our recent Series A funding has enabled us to attract and hire outstanding and talented professionals in the fields of diabetes, fitness and media, and launch our sales and marketing campaign.

Q. How did you choose New Haven as the base for your family and business? What has surprised you? How do you take advantage of the city's amenities with your family?

A. I grew up in New Haven, and after living in New York City and Washington, D.C., decided to move back to New Haven to start Fitscript. I believe New Haven is ideally located and poised for our company to participate in the global economy. The combination of access to international travel, major centers of business, high quality living and social opportunities, great food and universities make New Haven an up-and-coming location that I, my wife and young family are happy and excited to be a part of.

Reach Wendy Pierman Mitzel at news@newhavenbiz.com

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