Once again, I've returned from the gym to discover major diabetes announcements in my inbox. Why do these things invariably hit the wire while I'm off spinning?
Anyhoo, two pieces of big diabetes device news today:
* Bayer today has announced release of the new and improved A1c Now SelfCheck home testing kit, the technology it acquired from Metrika back in 2006. You get 2 test kits for $29.99, each of which provides at-home results in just 5 minutes (for order online or purchase at Walgreens).
Wouldn't it be darn nice to be able to really and truly test your A1c at home? But if memory serves on the old Metrika product, accuracy wasn't that great. I personally once got a 1.4 point spread between my hospital lab results and that of the in-home kit. Hopefully those days are over with this "new-generation" meter that I'm told "now requires no refrigeration." Did we used to have to refrigerate the blood samples? I don't recall that...
Meanwhile, the company is touting "lab-accurate results" with the revamped product. I'm excited to have a look — and test the test — at the upcoming annual ADA Conference starting this Friday in New Orleans.
The "potentially disruptive technology" is not described in the announcement, but the company's website indicates they're developing "a microcapsule placement unit and a light detecting non-invasive reader unit. The microcapsule placement unit poses the right dose of glucose-responding microcapsules in the upper layer of the skin, painlessly." That sure sounds good!
"This strategic acquisition is an effort to expand Medtronic's already robust continuous glucose monitoring pipeline, and to develop a new CGM platform to aid development of our 'closed-loop' system," according to Medtronic Diabetes business unit president & senior vice president Chris O'Connell.
Medtronic obviously has a leg-up in the CGM business since it has the only system that integrates a CGM with an insulin pump: its MiniMed Paradigm® REAL-Time product. Godspeed to them in developing a full "closed-loop system" (i.e. artificial pancreas) that actually works!
Not to be a party pooper, but I had to smile when I read the analysis of Medtronic's move sent out today by David Kliff of Diabetic Investor: "We always get a little leery when we see the words non-invasive and blood glucose monitoring used in the same sentence. This is a well traveled road that has produced a total of zero systems." See this morning's post on non-invasives here at the 'Mine as well.
Nevertheless, Medtronic is a big and powerful company, and they seem quite confident in their vision: "Using advanced mathematical algorithms, Medtronic's closed-loop system is being designed to continuously monitor glucose levels and automatically adjust insulin delivery in patients."
I'm equally intrigued to see / hear more at next week's big diabetes brouhaha. Your thoughts?