Insulin pump maker Insulin announced partnerships yesterday with two of the leading continuous glucose monitor companies, Abbott and Dexcom. Both involve the Insulet’s Omnipod Horizon Automated Insulin Delivery System which uses a tubeless, wearable “Pod” to deliver insulin for 72 hours at a time.
Abbott and Insulet have partnered to offer a new integrated digital health platform that will combine Abbott’s Freestyle Libre continuous glucose monitor with the Horizon System.
The integration will send data from the Freestyle Libre to the Omnipod Pod, which will use an algorithm to automatically adjust insulin delivery based on that data. A user will also be able to use an app on their personal smartphone to manually deliver additional doses of fast-acting insulin before meals.
As for the Dexcom deal, it is a nonexclusive global commercialization agreement to integrate the Horizon System with both the Dexcom G6 and upcoming G7 CGM systems. Similarly to the Abbott integration, users will be able to automatically adjust insulin doses using Insulet’s algorithm, as well as to control the pump from their smartphone.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT
A number of companies as well as researchers have been working for some time to combine continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps into reliable closed loop systems (sometimes referred to as the artificial pancreas).
This is a step forward in that journey for both Abbott and Dexcom.
Abbott and Insulet say theirs will be the first such combined system where both parts — the wearable sensor and the pump — are fully disposable, which could make it a more affordable option in this emerging market.
THE LARGER TREND
This news demonstrates a major trend toward interoperability in the CGM space. Rather than forging exclusive partnerships, players are trying to work with as many different technology partners as possible, giving people with diabetes a maximum number of choices about how they manage their condition.
Abbott recently expanded its partnership with Bigfoot Biomedical around integrating with that company’s connected insulin pen. Last fall they announced an integration with Omada Health’s coaching program for people with diabetes.
For its part, Insulet announced a partnership with Samsung two years ago and has been pursuing a strategy of making its pump integrate with any smartphone. Toward that end, the company is also working with Glooko on the data side.
ON THE RECORD
"Abbott is focused on creating future-forward health technologies that simplify how people living with diabetes manage their condition so they can live their best lives," Jared Watkin, senior vice president of diabetes care at Abbott, said in a statement. "As diabetes care becomes more interoperable, we're developing more connected approaches to improve care. Through this partnership, Abbott and Insulet will offer an integrated digital health platform that is simple and accurate and will provide a best-in-class user experience.”
“Everyone at Dexcom is excited to be in the final stages of integrating Dexcom CGM technology into the Omnipod Horizon System," Sayer said in a separate statement. "This system will bring together the demonstrated accuracy of Dexcom CGM with Omnipod’s tubeless insulin delivery Pod which provides a simple user experience and freedom from injections and tubes. It will be a truly transformative, automated insulin delivery system giving more options to people with diabetes.”