Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Samsung and Medtronic partner to tackle diabetes

Steve Rogerson
June 16, 2015
Korean company Samsung Electronics has formed a partnership with Ireland-based Medtronic to improve diabetes management for the millions of people at risk and currently living with the disease. People with diabetes want convenient access to manage their health from anywhere and at any time.
The two companies are combining their respective strengths to develop a range of products that will enhance the way people with diabetes live their lives, from remotely viewing diabetes data to integrating mobile and wearable devices into diabetes management systems.
The partnership, announced at this month’s American Diabetes Association 75th Scientific Sessions in Boston, USA, will combine Samsung’s understanding of consumer mobile technology to deliver secure and convenient access to Medtronic’s integrated diabetes management systems that provide clinically-proven outcomes.
"By addressing more of the social and emotional aspects of living with diabetes and improving lifestyle fit, we believe that more people worldwide will be able to experience better diabetes control that today's advanced therapies provide," said Alejandro Galindo, vice president and general manager of the insulin management business at Medtronic. "Medtronic aims to transform diabetes by providing world-class integrated care, enabled by leading technologies, big data and informatics. Our partnership with Samsung is a key step in providing convenient and discreet access to diabetes data, so together we can provide people with diabetes greater freedom and better health."
Treating diabetes effectively requires daily management to keep blood sugar levels under control. People with diabetes interact with their insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) throughout the day and are looking for products that are easy to use and fit into their lifestyle.
"Samsung is committed to applying its deep understanding of how people use technology to bring new innovations to healthcare," said David Rhew, chief medical officer for Samsung Electronics in the USA. "Patients are seeking better ways not only to monitor their condition, but also to enjoy a greater quality of life. We are excited to partner with Medtronic to develop diabetes management solutions that produce positive change and greater autonomy for people living with diabetes."
The partnership's first project focuses on delivering more discreet and convenient access to personal diabetes data by developing mobile applications optimised for Samsung mobile devices that will enable the viewing of insulin pump and CGM information. This application will work with Medtronic's MiniMed Connect product, also announced at the conference, which provides access to diabetes information for people with diabetes as well as remote alerts for their loved ones.
In addition, MiniMed Connect provides healthcare providers with more frequent and convenient access to their patients' insulin pump and CGM via mobile connectivity so they can adjust care plans. Through this partnership, the MiniMed Connect will ultimately be available to more people worldwide, since close to 80 per cent of mobile phone users are on the Android operating system globally.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas produces little or no insulin, or when the pancreas produces insulin but it is resisted by the body. Insulin is a hormone the body needs to regulate blood sugar (glucose), the body's energy source. Globally, there are 387 million people with diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
Medtronic also announced an agreement with California-based Glooko to improve access to meaningful diabetes health data in a safe and secure way. The partnership will incorporate information from Medtronic insulin pumps and CGMs into Glooko's secure, unified, cloud and mobile-based diabetes management platform. In addition, Medtronic will be able to integrate other health and wellness data sources, such as food, medication, fitness and biometric data with its CareLink platform. Combining this with insulin and CGM data could provide additional insights for patients and providers and could be beneficial to improve diabetes management.