415 million people are estimated to be living with diabetes around the world, rising to 642 million by 2040.
With the disease affecting an increasing amount of the population, more digital diabetes management devices have hit the market.
This market is projected to be worth $27.61bn by year 2026 and wearable devices are high in demand. To support this, we’ve seen regulatory approvals for continuous glucose monitor systems (CGMs) increase and large investments drive technological advancements.
Wearables have a host of advantages for patients, eradicating the need for daily pricks to the finger and bringing treatment closer to point-of-care (PoC).
Understanding this market’s potential, popular brands like of Apple and FitBit have even entered the medical device world.
To mark World Diabetes Day, I’ve decided to champion some of the hottest technologies on the market right now. Marrying purpose with design, it’s these four that are standing out in an increasingly saturated market:
Companion Medical’s InPen insulin injector pen is an easy-to-use pen that helps calculate doses and keeps track of injection data, for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) patients.
When paired via Bluetooth with its smartphone app - free to download on Apple iOS and Android - the InPen delivery system helps patients manage their treatment. Its range of tools include a dose calculator, dose reminder, reporting tool and temperature alert.
This helps the user keep tabs on how many units they’ve received from their last injection and when this was taken.
Designed for insulin-dependent individuals undergoing multiple daily subcutaneous injections, it delivers 0.5 to 30 units of insulin, dialled in half-unit increments. If patients insert the wrong amount of insulin, the InPen even lets you correct the dose without wasting insulin.
The injector pen is compatible with Lilly Humalog and Novo Nordisk Novolog U-100 3.0 mL insulin cartridges and single-use detachable & disposable needles. Both types of insulin are rapid-acting, meaning meals can be eaten at the same time as the injection.
Since April 2019, the InPen has been available to pick up from over 60,000 locations in the US. Prior to this, it was only available through mail order. Healthcare providers now can electronically send customer prescriptions for collection at local pharmacies.
Being the first in the market to release a Smart Injector Pen, I am looking forward to seeing what innovations Companion Medical have in store for the future.
French start-up, Diabeloop, are also on a mission to provide T1D patients with smart management solutions.
Originating from an artificial pancreas research program, their DBLG1 System is a self-learning device that embeds machine learning to better serve patients. The system is personalised, configurable and secure.
This external medical device connects three components: a CGM, a patch insulin pump and a locked-down handset hosting the Diabeloop algorithm and user interface.
Every five minutes, a glucose measurement is transmitted via Bluetooth technology to the handset. Then the DBLG1’s artificial intelligence analyzes the data in real time, taking into account the patient’s physiology, history and data entries, like meals or exercise, to determine the correct dose of insulin to administer.
While the device’s healthcare advantages are plentiful, its smart design means that it can be easily concealed too. In a market leaning toward design conscious devices, this is an attractive quality.
Recent successful results have been published in Diabeloop’s international journal, The Lancet Digital Health, advertising the integration of this device into routine medical practice. Enhanced safety and efficacy have been demonstrated by a significant improvement in glycemic control and a reduction of hypoglycemic risk in adults with T1D, while using the closed-loop hybrid system.
Another clinical trial study on highly unstable diabetes has started and a plan for a large study for Diabeloop’s FDA submission is in the pipeline.
Supporting patients for both T1D and T2D, which accounts for 90% of all diabetes cases, Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre is a wireless monitor that is worn under the skin of the upper arm. The device uses flash technology, monitoring glucose in the patient’s body water, known as interstitial fluid.
Teaming-up with digital health company Omada Health and medical device manufacturers, Tandem, has furthered the FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring system for people with T2D.
Exclusively partnering with Omada, means that the device is now packaged with a combined solution of an online physician consultation for a FreeStyle Libre prescription, as well as the delivery of a kit with the 14-day CGM system and a wireless scale.
The program’s digital back end is powered by proprietary algorithms supplied by both companies. Those analytics will track patients’ progress and blood sugar levels in real time to help personalise care recommendations via their smartphones through live coaching, lessons and action plans.
Following an appointment with your diabetic healthcare professional and suitability confirmed, the FreeStyle Libre is available to buy online.
Insulet, a leader in tubeless insulin pump technology with the OmniPod Insulin Management System, are also supporting patients with both T1D and T2D.
The two-part system includes a personal diabetes manager (PDM) and a tubeless, waterproof insulin pump (Pod) that simplify the management of a patient’s insulin-dependent diabetes.
The Omnipod system and Omnipod DASH Insulin Management System for adults can now be used with fast-acting insulin aspart (Fiasp), following a recent FDA approval.
Fiasp is a new-generation, fast-acting insulin developed by Novo Nordisk that enters the bloodstream two times faster than Novo Nordisk’s NovoLog.
This means it’s able to more closely match a body’s typical insulin response to a meal, thereby improving glycemic control. As a result, Fiasp is the first and only fast-acting mealtime insulin injection that does not have a pre-meal dosing recommendation.
To be considered for the Omnipod System an assessment must be carried out by your diabetic healthcare professional.
Available in the UK since 2010, I expect this technology to remain as one of the main players within the industry.
There you have it. Four extraordinary technologies standing out in the digital diabetes management device market and supporting patients in their own way.
What’s next? I can’t wait to see.
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