US – Despite the volatility of last year’s economy due to the corona virus pandemic, diabetes technology companies experienced tremendous success.
Analysts have been bullish on the market as companies target new patient populations and major product launches have been planned for 2021 with clinicians approving of the same.
Recent surveys of healthcare professionals projecting both the use of continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps to jump in the coming years.
While continuous glucose monitoring (CGMs) and insulin pumps are the primary devices in diabetes tech, the space is also seeing a growth in activity among smart insulin pen developers.
Smart insulin pens can link with smartphone applications and use data gathered by CGMs to help inform insulin dosage decisions or alert if a dosage has possibly been missed.
Currently, Medtronic is in the process of developing this technology and according to results presented at the 81st American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, their pen kept patients in their target blood glucose range for longer periods of time compared to previous treatment without it.
Medtronic bought into the submarket with its acquisition of Companion Medical, a company that develop medical technology, in August 2020. Now, other large medical device and healthcare companies are focusing on the technology as patients further embrace wearables, particularly in diabetes management.
Bigfoot Biomedical also received FDA clearance in May for its smart insulin pen system, Bigfoot Unity system. The company’s smart insulin pen system is cleared to work with Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 CGM.
The Bigfoot Unity system consists of smart insulin pen caps that can link with Abbott’s CGM and gather data about a patient’s glucose levels.
Dosing recommendations are then displayed on the pen cap. The system can also link with a smartphone app and alert patients about very low glucose levels or for possible missed doses.
The pen caps and system work with disposable insulin pens made by companies like Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi.
Meanwhile, insulin pen maker Eli Lilly is developing a smart-pen attachment of their own, called the Tempo Smart Button, which can be used with the company’s Tempo Pen.
The Tempo Smart Button is currently in late-stage clinical development and Eli Lilly is pursuing a standardization mark for European markets in 2021.
Eli Lilly announced in May that the smart pen system will be compatible with other companies’ diabetes technology, including top CGM maker Dexcom.