Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body fails to properly regulate blood sugar levels. Treatment often involves finger pricks to measure glucose levels, followed by insulin injections to maintain the desired range. This approach has many inconvenient, painful, and inaccurate aspects. As a result, health tech companies have sought to link a continuous data stream from a glucose sensor to an insulin pump to provide better blood sugar regulation.
Two major players — DexCom and Insulet — have announced a partnership to deliver just such a closed-loop system. The system will rely on the DexCom G6 continuous glucose monitor (CGM) as well as the next generation G7 when it becomes available. The readings will be used to predict glucose levels for the Omnipod Horizon Automated Insulin Delivery System, which includes a tubeless insulin delivery Pod.
Outside of certain particular circumstances, patients will not need to calibrate the system using traditional finger sticks. The sensor can be worn up to 10 days without changing and insulin can be delivered up to three days in a row. The entire system is waterproof so that it can be worn while bathing or exercising. The Omnipod Horizon System is expected to be available commercially in the second half of 2020.
This is just one more example of how health tech solutions are making chronic conditions easier for patients by eliminating disruptive, painful, or inconvenient treatment procedures while delivering better care and improved outcomes.