By: Laurie Block, RDN, CDE
Looking back in review, 2019 was a year that many diabetes companies collaborated to form new partnerships to help make diabetes management easier and more efficient.
It was a year that all sorts of insulin devices, data management companies, and manufacturers pulled together to sync devices. The goal: Integrate devices to make it easier for individuals and health care providers to collect and interpret information which will provide a more comprehensive view on how to manage diabetes.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the collaborations in 2019, and what they mean for you:
1. JDRF and Beyond Type 1
JDRF and Beyond Type 1 are two nonprofits that provide information, advocacy, and resources to people with Type 1 diabetes. Their collaboration was announced in 2019 with the goal of providing greater support to the global diabetes community via social media, digital resources, and community engagement.
2. Glooko, T1D Exchange and Pack Health
Glooko a leader in diabetes data management, has joined up with T1D Exchange, a nonprofit research organization dedicated to accelerating therapies and improving care for people affected by Type 1 diabetes.
Recently it was announced that Glooko’s diabetes management data will be able to securely and anonymously provide data to T1D Exchange Quality Improvement Collaborative (QIC). This collaboration should prove useful in understanding current diabetes data and trends, and ultimately help clinicians develop relevant outcome measures leading to an improvement in diabetes outcomes.
In addition, Glooko is partnering with Pack Health. The connection will transmit diabetes data to Pack Health advisors who are then able to see trends in diabetes data. The collaboration will be very useful to help individuals receive education in real-time.
3. Dexcom and Companion Medical
Dexcom, maker of continuous glucose monitoring systems has partnered up with Companion Medical Inc. manufacturers of the InPen.
The InPen delivers insulin and has features that remember how much insulin was given and makes suggestions on how much insulin is needed based on blood glucose levels, manually entered carbohydrate counts and insulin on board.
Designed for individuals 12 years and older, the InPen is also able to transfer data to the Dexcom G6 app and provides the ability to see insulin delivery on the Dexcom Clarity app. The integration enables health care providers to see a combined and comprehensive view of glucose data and insulin delivery which can help to improve decision making and develop treatment plans.
The collaboration enables the direct exchange of CGM data from Dexcom with insulin data from the InPen.
4. Novo Nordisk and Abbott Diabetes Care
Novo Nordisk insulin pens have integrated with the Abbott Freestyle Libre Continuous Glucose Monitoring System.
The Libre sensor is worn on the back of the upper arm and eliminates the need for continuous finger sticks. The Libre has a 14-day sensor, with a handheld reader that scans over the sensor.
Together, these two products enable people with diabetes to view glucose and insulin data together to help make informed treatment decisions.
5. Tidepool and Commercially Available Insulin Pumps
Tidepool can be accessed via a webpage or app and it serves as a central data repository for historical and real-time insulin pump and CGM data.
This information can be viewed by your diabetes provider and individuals in order to make insulin regimen changes, even between clinic or office visits.
Tidepool is currently working to launch “Tidepool Loop,” with support for a future version of the Omnipod® System, a future Medtronic Bluetooth-enabled MiniMed™, and the Dexcom G6 CGM.
An iPhone app will bring together the insulin pump, CGM device, and an insulin dosing algorithm which will modify the basal rate every 5 minutes. The system has advantages such as suspending the basal rate if the blood glucose is falling too quickly or increasing the basal rate if the blood glucose is trending upward.
This functionality is also called a hybrid closed loop or an automated insulin delivery system.
The Tidepool loop is not available yet, however, these collaborations should prove useful to reduce or avoid hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia and help individuals increase the amount of time blood sugars are in range. For more information, you can look at the Tidepool website.
6. Dexcom and Tandem Diabetes
Tandem is a leader in insulin pumps, and Dexcom’s G6 is a continuous glucose monitor device. The two companies have essentially formed an advanced hybrid closed loop system.
The system automatically delivers basal insulin based on blood sugar levels and other data without the need for continuous finger sticks.
Tandem’s t:slim X2 insulin pump with Control-IQ technology utilizes Dexcom G6 CGM sensor values to predict glucose levels 30 minutes ahead and adjust insulin delivery to help prevent highs and lows, while still allowing the user to manually bolus for meals.
The system also delivers automatic correction boluses, which is a feature not commercially available today on automated insulin delivery devices. The system is currently under review by the FDA and plans to come out in the 4th quarter of 2019 or sometime in 2020.
The collaboration allows for a closed-loop system that automatically delivers basal insulin based on blood sugar readings and other data without the need for finger-sticks.
What do the collaborations mean for you?
Overall, the collaborations mentioned above mean that managing diabetes will become more efficient and effective, resulting in safer and healthier diabetes outcomes for many people around the world.
You can stay on top of all the new products and advances by staying in close contact with your diabetes care team and looking at leading industry publications such as Diabetes Forecast that is published by the American Diabetes Association.
Diabetes Forecast has an updated comprehensive yearly review of the many diabetes devices available. The review compares available insulins, oral agents, insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring devices, as well as smartphone applications , infusion sets and much more. You can see this year’s consumer guide here.
You can also ask your health care team to loan you a device to see if it fits into your needs and lifestyle.
For health professionals, the Diabetes Advanced Network Access (DANA) resource app is a great tool to see what’s current.
In addition, there are many local organizations that have education-focused seminars and conferences where the industry comes together to introduce new devices and products available.
Local support is not only informative and can keep you up to date, but it will introduce you to other individuals and families with diabetes.
Looking forward to 2020 and of course hoping for a cure!
Laurie Block RDN, CDE is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist who practices in New York City and La Jolla, Calif. She specializes in medical nutrition therapy with a special interest in diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular risk factors. She is the author of the Type 1 Diabetes Cookbook published by Rockbridge Press and enjoys writing about nutrition-related topics. Block is passionate about helping kids, teens and adults reach their health care goals. She is involved in Marjorie’s Fund, a global initiative to empower adults living with Type 1 diabetes. She is also the co-founder of the Kids and Healthy Weight Program at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine.
- JDRF. (2019, September 24). JDRF and Beyond Type 1 Launch Alliance. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://www.jdrf.org/blog/2019/09/24/jdrf-and-beyond-type-1-launch-alliance/
- dLife. (2019, June 21). Medtronic; Tidepool to Collaborate on Interoperable, Automated Insulin Pump System. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://dlife.com/medtronic-tidepool-to-collaborate-on-interoperable-automated-insulin-pump-system/
- Glooko. (2019, June 4). T1D Exchange Names Glooko as Data Management Partner in Quality Improvement Collaborative. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/t1d-exchange-names-glooko-as-data-management-partner-in-quality-improvement-collaborative-300861171.html
- Pack Health. (2019, June 23). Pack Health and Glooko Partner to Integrate Blood Glucose Monitoring with Digital Health Coaching Services. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://solutions.packhealth.com/news-pack-health-and-glooko/amp/
- Diabetes In Control. (2019, Mar 2). New Smart Pens Hoped to Change The Way We Treat Diabetes. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/new-smart-pens-hoped-to-change-the-way-we-treat-diabetes/
- MobiHealthNews. (2019, Feb. 20) Novo Nordisk’s new insulin pens will integrate with Abbott’s Freestyle Libre system. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://www.mobihealthnews.com/content/novo-nordisks-new-insulin-pens-will-integrate-abbotts-freestyle-libre-system
- Tandem Diabetes Care. The t:slim X2 Insulin Pump with Control-IQ Advanced Hybrid Closed-loop Technology. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://www.tandemdiabetes.com/about-us/pipeline