News Flash: Abbott Diabetes is apparently "talking tough" about how its new FreeStyle Navigator will quickly become the "device of choice" among us D-types struggling to better manage our disease using constant glucose monitoring. (The Navigator's expected to win FDA approval by the end of this year). According to the sweeping Reuters story, at least one Morgan Stanley analyst agrees, saying the Navigator trumps the competition on accuracy and ease of use. Hmmph. Hard to say, since hardly anybody's tried it yet.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson LifeScan is aggressively pursuing its own strategy to get into the continuous monitoring game with a new CGM product under development which "could be launched internationally in late 2008 and in the US in 2009." Not surpsingly, they claim to build a better mousetrap, offering "significant advantages" over current and pending Dexcom, Medtronic, and Abbott products.
According to a recent company briefing, the Lifescan CGM will include:
- a shorter warm-up period (15 minutes, versus 2 hours for MDT/DXCM and 10 hours for ABT)
- no calibrations (versus DXCM/MDT/ABT, which all currently require some calibration regimen with traditional fingerstick measurements), and
- improved accuracy at the hypoglycemic (low blood sugar from too much insulin or too little glucose in the blood) range.
Ideally it will also perform well with highs (hyperglycemia), based on Lifescan's lag mitigation technology, which the company has touted previously with positive results data.
Here's the interesting bit: JNJ Medical Devices Review reports that the Lifescan CGM should interact with the same remote monitor that's being developed to interact with a next-generation insulin pump:
"This integrated meter/insulin pump can control the insulin pump with the wireless monitor/meter, or the pump itself, and is slated to be launched next year. This remote monitor/meter may also offload some of the features required in an insulin pump, thereby allowing an insulin pump with a smaller screen and pump size. The Lifescan CGM measures interstitial fluid (ISF) transdermally with a shorter needle, versus subcutaneously. The device can be taken on and off more easily due to the shorter warm up period and lack of necessary calibrations. The ability to only wear the device when the patient wants CGM should be of particular interest to the patients that plan to use continuous glucose monitoring less frequently."
And when will current insulin pumpers want to wear the CGM?
The publication reports:
"In a 300-patient survey we published 11/29/05, we asked current insulin pumpers how often they were considering using a continuous glucose monitor (multiple answers were allowed). Overall, 47% answered 24 hours a day, 19% every day, 16% every night, 19% some days, 17% some nights, 18% at least one three-day period a week, and 20% at least one three-day period a month. The 15% other responses included: when changing insulin doses or if feeling ill; stress or travel times; one three-day period each quarter; one 24-hour period/month; during periods of exercise or when flying."
Oh yes, when flying. I'm on board with that. Too bad LifeScan's new improved CGM option's not landing for another two years... May the best CGM win. And soon. And with adequate insurance coverage, please.