Future of diabetes care will be about data

By Vassia Barba

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Metamorworks)
(Image: Getty/Metamorworks)

Related tags Sanofi Abbott Novo nordisk Medtronic Diabetes

Insulin dosing and glucose level monitoring data combined in one platform is the object of two major partnerships focusing on diabetes.

Sanofi and Abbott, as well as Novo Nordisk and Medtronic, pair up, respectively, in order to work on a very similar, data-led approach, which is expected to facilitate disease monitoring and management.

Under the two separate collaborations, each pair of partners will work to connect their digital health products and integrate insulin dosing data collected by ‘smart’ drug delivery devices with glucose monitoring, making the date visible concurrently on one software platform.

More specifically, in their joint project, Abbott and Sanofi​ will create a ‘connected ecosystem’, by synchronizing the former’s FreeStyle Libre mobile app and cloud software with the latter’s ‘smart’ insulin pens, apps and cloud software that are currently in development.

As a result, the partners expect to help patients and their healthcare providers “make more informed treatment decisions,” ​a spokesperson for Abbott told us. The spokesperson adding that the technology will be made available within the next few years, pending local regulatory approvals.

On their side, Novo Nordisk and Medtronic​ announced plans to integrate insulin dosing data from smart insulin pens, which are currently being developed by Novo Nordisk, into continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices from Medtronic, such as the Guardian Connect system.

The partnership aims to “help ease the hassle of diabetes management,” ​said Camilla Sylvest, EVP of commercial strategy and corporate affairs at Novo Nordisk.

Following this agreement, the company now collaborates “with all major CGM device producers,​ Sylvest added.

Novo Nordisk expects to launch its ‘smart’ insulin pens, NovoPen 6 and NovoPen Echo Plus, which will be compatible with both Android and iOS devices, monitoring insulin dosage, in 2020. Following this commercialization, the Guardian Connect system will be updated to integrate data collected from these pens.

A demand to facilitate disease management

Enabling data sharing in between platforms is expected to help improve control and the quality of life decision cycle for patients through “individualized glycemic management of diabetes,”​ said Gustavo Pesquin, Sanofi’s SVP of global diabetes and cardiovascular franchise.

According to Abbott, managing diabetes on a daily basis requires the correlation of several types of data such as diet, insulin intake/dosing, and glucose levels. The ‘digital ecosystem’ to be built will simplify user’s experience by consolidating these data, said the spokesperson for Abbott.

Alejandro Galindo, president of advanced insulin management division within the company’s diabetes group, struck a similar note, when saying, “We see incredible power in combining a variety of data points to drive [these] insights.”

Integrating technologies to fight diabetes

In order to improve diabetes treatment, Abbott says that the spotlight needs to be put on uniting the power of innovative technologies.

“The future of diabetes care will be around integrating technologies to provide a deeper understanding of diabetes at the individual level and enabling personalized care,”​ the spokesperson from Abbott told us.

“This leads to better health outcomes and more meaningful conversations between doctor and patient,”​ the spokesperson added.

The company plans to work on partnering with ‘other diabetes and technology leaders’ as well, in order to reach ‘smarter’ and more meaningful care, according to the spokesperson.

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