Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Medtronic to test next-generation glucose monitoring system

Iain Morris
October 15, 2014
 
Medtronic has announced plans to begin testing a next-generation glucose monitoring system that automatically stops insulin delivery when glucose levels approach certain predefined levels.

The company says it has enrolled the first patients in an investigational device exemption (IDE) study of the technology, saying this marks a critical set towards the development of an artificial pancreas in the US market.

During its trial, Medtronic (Minneapolis, MN, USA) aims to evaluate the safety of technology.

The system works by automatically stopping insulin delivery when a sensor measures a glucose level predicted to approach the lowest tolerable limit, and then resuming delivery after these levels recover.

The sensor is 80% smaller than the Enlite product currently available in the US market, says Medtronic.

Medtronic believes it could help diabetes patients to better manage the challenges of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) inherent in external insulin therapy use.

“Safely managing hypoglycemia without causing a rebound hyperglycemic episode is a key challenge in managing diabetes,” said Ronald Brazg, clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington. “This important study leads the industry-wide effort to close the diabetes treatment loop with tools that help achieve better glycemic control.”

The trial will see up to 84 subjects enrolled at eight investigational centers across the US.

The purpose of the study will be to evaluate the safety of the technology and its ability to prevent hypoglycemia – a common occurrence and concern in diabetes management that can lead to confusion, unresponsiveness and – in severe cases – death.

“This study marks yet another important milestone toward the goal of an artificial pancreas,” said Alejandro Galindo, the vice president and general manager of the intensive insulin management business at Medtronic. “As we continue to lead the world with advances in insulin delivery, sensor technology and algorithms, we will be more able to help people with diabetes enjoy greater freedom and experience better health.”
 
 
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