Medtech startups developing continuous glucose monitors have caught the eye of at least one potential – and powerful – partner – Insulet.
In an interview with the DeviceTalks Weekly Podcast, CEO Shacey Petrovic said the maker of the OmniPod insulin-delivery device sees partnering with other companies as the likely path to creating a single device capable of reading glucose levels and delivering insulin. Insulet last year announced partnerships with DexCom and Abbott.
“There are some really interesting technologies on the horizon,” Petrovic said. “There might be 40 early-stage CGMs in development so we’ll see how the market plays out. But we couldn’t be more delighted with our partnerships with Abbott and Dexcom.”
The partnerships give Insulet access to technology that’s able to measure glucose levels in people with diabetes. The devices — Dexcom’s G6 and G7 and Abbott’s Freestyle Libre — can cue the OmniPod to deliver insulin as needed through a cannula. OmniPod wearers previously would administer their own insulin as necessary using a remote.
Petrovic said the combination can liberate people managing their disease. Administering insulin currently needs to be done through injections or devices like the Omnipod. Petrovic, whose father had Type 1 diabetes, said someone with the disease might need to make up to 300 decisions per day about diet, exercise and insulin levels to manage their levels.
“What [the combination of CGMs and OminPod] does is dramatically reduce those number of decisions and the cognitive burden of diabetes,” said Petrovic. “There will still be a few situations where a user has to announce a meal and dose for the carbohydrates, but the rest of it is highly automated.”
Insulet also intends to move control of the device from its proprietary handheld controller onto mobile phones. The OmniPod wearer – or Podders – would be able to download an app on their cellphone to adjust their dosing if necessary.
Asked where she sees the company’s offerings changing in the coming years, Petrovic suggested the use of cell phones may provide even more critical data that will help manage insulin levels. If the user consents, an app could draw information from calendars and other data sources, tracking things like meals and workouts.
“We might say, where you ate dinner on Thursday night, you should have bolused (delivered larger does of insulin) or you could have had a bigger bolus to get a better outcome there,” she said. “Those are the types of things that are really exciting in terms of where this could generate insights for our users.”
In the interview, Petrovic also discussed:
- How the company is engaging the diabetes community.
- Why it moved away from selling its Omnipod insulin-delivery devices as a durable good.
- What led her to join Insulet
- How the company worked through COVID-19
In our first interview, Dr. Niki Panich, CEO of Calumeo, will explain how the start-up can help health care facilities process their N95 masks on site.
Finally, Chris Newmarker delivers the week’s big Newmarkers Newsmakers involving Baxter, Adaptive Biotechnologies, Boston Scientific, Abbott, and AdvaMed.
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