Novo Nordisk's new insulin pens will integrate with Abbott's Freestyle Libre system

Abbott joins Dexcom, Glooko and Roche as a data-sharing partner for the as-yet-unlaunched device.
By Jonah Comstock
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Novo Nordisk insulin pens

Novo Nordisk’s connected insulin pens will integrate with the Abbott Freestyle Libre system, allowing Freestyle Libre users to see data about their insulin alongside their glucose readings, the companies announced this morning.

"Lack of reliable information is a cause of huge frustration for many people with diabetes and their doctors," Anders Dyhr Toft, CVP of commercial innovation at Novo Nordisk, said in a statement. "Together with partners like Abbott, our connected pens will give healthcare professionals a better understanding of a patient′s individual diabetes management and can help people with diabetes feel more confident in their treatment."

The Freestyle Libre system, which just recently came to the United States after years of being only available in Europe, is a fully disposable CGM system consisting of a tiny insertable sensor and a patch about the size of a quarter, which can be scanned using a special reader or a smartphone app.

Specifically, the integration will bring insulin dosing data from the connected pens into the FreeStyle LibreLink mobile app and the LibreView cloud-based system.

Why it matters

Freestyle Libre’s success in the market has been largely due to its positioning as a middle ground between traditional glucometers and more onerous CGMs, providing the depth of data of the latter but with a level of convenience closer to the former. Integration with insulin pens, which are much more widely used than insulin pumps, will further increase that convenience factor and help Abbott to serve that in-between market.

What’s the trend

Novo Nordisk has been drafting a number of nonexclusive partnerships for its as-yet unlaunched pen offering. When it first announced the product, it already had partnerships in place with with Dexcom, Glooko and Roche to allow their apps to be used with the new pens. Earlier this week the company provided more details about its integration with Glooko.

Abbott has been adding features to the Libre system to make it more competitive with other CGMs, including real-time alerts and scanning via app, both of which were added last fall.

On the record

"It is our aim at Abbott to continuously provide life-changing technology to people living with diabetes," Jared Watkin, SVP of diabetes care at Abbott, said in a statement. "Diabetes is a time-intensive condition to manage. People with diabetes must make a variety of decisions every single day about their glucose monitoring, nutrition, insulin and medication intake. By enabling insulin dosing data from Novo Nordisk′s connected pens to be shared with our digital health tools, we′ll be able to help further eliminate those daily hassles for people, so they have more time to live a fuller, healthier life."

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