Medtronic launches smartphone connectivity for CGMs, insulin pumps

By Jonah Comstock
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Medtronic MiniMed ConnectMedtronic has launched its MiniMed Connect system, which allows people with diabetes who use both a Medtronic continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and a Medtronic insulin pump to see data from both device on their smartphone, and send it to their caregiver.

"It’s part of our plan to become a holistic diabetes management company," Annette Brüls, President of the Diabetes Service and Solutions business at Medtronic, told MobiHealthNews. "You can see how we are moving from just providing pumps and sensors to providing connected solutions to -- in the future -- providing predictive analytics with the view of also transforming diabetes care."

The MiniMed Connect device is a keychain-sized device that users of the Medtronic MiniMed insulin pump will be able to purchase. It takes data from the pump and affiliated CGM and sends it to either a mobile app or a web platform where users, and their care providers, can access it. It also automatically sends a text alert to loved ones when glucose levels go too high or too low, or when an alarm on the pump isn’t cleared. It received FDA clearance in June.

Right now, the user can have either the current or previous generation of Medtronic devices, but needs an iPhone to use the system. An Android version is forthcoming, however, and, as announced in June, Medtronic is working with Samsung on a special application that will be available for Samsung users.

The device is different from the Dexcom Share system, which supports users of Dexcom's CGM but doesn't connect to an insulin pump. Dexcom may have pump connectivity in its pipeline, but most of that company's future plans talk has been focused on smaller, more convenient CGMsMeanwhile, Medtronic's answer to Dexcom Share, the Medtronic Guardian Mobile app that was shown off at an event last fall, is still in the works, according to Brüls.

In addition to Samsung, Medtronic also has a partnership with IBM Watson Health which, Brüls says, is where the real value of having the data will come in.

"Our goal is to provide advanced insights," she said, "to combine the data with context, the location, the food intake, the exercise, so all this information that’s really crucial for managing your diabetes in the best way possible, we can now combine it with our glucose and insulin data on the phone, and can provide predictive analytics and change the way we manage diabetes. And I think that’s really the game-changer: Having the data streaming and providing actionable insights. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do in the next year with our partner IBM Watson."

Those data analytics applications will be rolled out as updates to the app for existing users, Brüls told MobiHealthNews.