Medtronic seeks to integrate CGM, smart pen

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Friday, September 25, 2020

DUBLIN, Ireland – Although Medtronic is a leader in insulin pump technology, the majority of people with diabetes who use insulin still opt for injections—that’s why the company wants to “close the loop” for those patients. 

In August, Medtronic announced it had acquired Companion Medical, the manufacturer of InPen, a smart insulin pen system paired with an integrated diabetes management app that helps with insulin dosing and tracking. 

“It became apparent to us there was a whole group of people who had unmet needs,” said Mike Hill, vice president and general manager, Multiple Daily Injection Solutions, at Medtronic. “They are not ready to go on pumps. This idea of a smart pen was something we were watching—we saw a key need and opportunity to simplify the tracking of dosing.” 

In addition to its line of MiniMed insulin pumps, Medtronic also offers a continuous glucose monitoring system, The Guardian. 

The company’s first priority post-acquisition is it to integrate that CGM and the InPen, says Hill. 

“(We have) the two apps and we want to make sure the data flows both ways,” he said. “Once we’ve got the CGM and the dosing together, we’ll have a road map to add more and more algorithms to proactively provide therapy recommendations.” 

Medtronic will also seek to drive coverage of the InPen, leveraging its relationship with payers, says Hill. Companion has also done a “nice job” in generating coverage. 

“Payers understand there is value in data and Companion has put together a nice combination of access and programs for people with diabetes so they pay very low co-pays,” he said. “It’s a great device with nice reception in the marketplace.” 

At the core of its vision, Medtronic wants to reduce the burden of diabetes for patients, while improving outcomes, says Hill. 

“Our goal is to close the loop with Companion,” he said. “(We want to) to produce better outcomes with less work and more safety.”