Our correspondent Wil Dubois is on the scene at the big annual American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) meeting in Orlando, FL, this week covering the action live.
We'll be bringing you several full reports from Wil on both conference sessions and product updates, starting with this one on some of the most exciting breaking news on the diabetes device & data front that just can't wait... because, hey, #WeAreNotWaiting!
Snap Pump to Smartphone - Wow!
Pump-maker Asante Solution's CEO David Thrower wowed a packed-house at the Universal Theaters Orlando Blue Man show last night by demo'ing a next-gen Snap pump that sends pump data directly to an iPhone. The phone could also send bolus directions to the pump, and -- are you sitting down? -- receive Dexcom CGM signals!
On Thursday night, he publicly announced a new partnership with Dexcom for full integration of the two company's future devices, but they'll meet on neutral ground -- the smartphone. Thrower said his company recognized that it did not make sense to integrate CGM data into a pump when the smartphone is the most commonly used electronic device. In what can only be called a masterful demonstration, Asante's Thrower took the AADE conference audience through a demo that involved a site and cartridge change, a CGM blood sugar check, and a bolus dose that was immediately texted to the crowd.
All brought together in one place, that wonderful little smartphone so many of us carry around. Diabetes device integration, abound!
(Dexcom expects to file its G5 with FDA within the next several months, and the integration will follow.)
Dexcom + Insulet + Tidepool
The Asante news wasn't the only Dexcom integration announced this week. Just two days earlier, Dexcom and Insulet announced their partnership allowing their future tech to play together. Yep, the two companies that had promised for years to integrate their OmniPod patch pump and Dexcom CGM, parted ways early last year saying their collaboration had fallen apart. Now, they've rekindled that relationship, announcing on Tuesday that the future Dexcom G5 sensor data will be displayed on the next-gen OmniPod Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) that's in development. A big win for users of both!
Then comes the equally huge and exciting news that Dexcom is the second company to join the nonprofit Tidepool effort in creating an open-source data platform, in which data from different diabetes devices can be brought together into one place, where users can access it freely and developers can build new apps to optimize its value. Dexcom made that announcement on Wednesday during its second quarter earnings call, saying it would allow for retrospective CGM data from the next-gen G5 sensor to be shared on the Tidepool platform. Of course, Asante was the first to join with Tidepool in January, so hopefully now that we have a pump and CGM maker on board, more companies will follow their lead!
This news follows Dexcom's publicly stated commitment in June that it would pursue an "open architecture" approach to diabetes data, which includes creating an "Authorized by Dexcom" credential mark to indicate which devices and apps are compatible with their CGM data.
The California CGM company is tripling down on that commitment to open architecture, taking heed of the #WeAreNotWaiting movement that's bringing us things like the NightScout solution -- a community-created effort to view CGM data on any device we want, and not be bound to a particular company's protocols and products.
Are you sensing a theme, here?
Yep, it's unlocking our diabetes data, allowing us to personalize it for how we want to use it in our lives!
And Dexcom has become a key champion of this -- which btw was named one of the World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in HealthCare by Fast Company last year.
And speaking of personalizing our diabetes tools...
Design Your Own Insulin Pump
Our dreams of "Build-A-Pump" appear to be coming true!
Asante also launched a program yesterday called MySnap, "the world's first and only customizable insulin pump." No, we're not just talking about cases, covers or stickers here. By choosing face plates, frames, and accents online it's possible to create near-personal insulin pumps in over 250 combinations, which the company will then build for you. We can't wait to see how this goes over... You can play around with the possibilities at their MySnap page.
Personalized pumps?! That will eventually allow you to share data and have access to it anywhere, anytime, in any format you want? Along with CGM data, too?!
In a word, it's frickin' awesome. OK, that was two words.
You can order your personalized pump today and it will be delivered in November. Asante also displayed three possible versions of it's color screen next-gen pump, which will be available in 2015.
Current Snap users can upgrade to MySnap for $99. And Thrower says that with each of the new technology upgrades, existing customers can trade up for just $99 as well.
This is pretty exciting news, and we're so glad so many D-Advocates were able to be present at AADE to hear it directly from Asante.
Seriously, though, think about the bigger picture on all of this for a moment.
We have, for the first time, one of the major CGM players partnered up to some extent with just about every insulin pump maker in existence. Just look at the list: OmniPod and Asante Snap with CGM data integration, and Animas and Tandem both having their respective pump-CGM combo devices being reviewed FDA as we speak.
Clearly missing from that list are: Medtronic, which obviously manufactures its own all-in-one CGM/pump combo and associated Carelink software; and Roche, which had previously partnered with Dexcom but terminated that development agreement in February 2013 after Roche decided to start focusing on its own internal CGM strategy.
Still, add in the fact that we see Dexcom involved with nearly all of the global artificial pancreas trials and is now on board with Tidepool's open source platform, and you've got the makings of incredible D-device data sharing potential here.
This means that the next generation of most of our D-devices will allow us the freedom of choice we've been clamoring for: picking any pump we want to partner with other products, and accessing where and how we want.
As has been pointed out recently in our D-Community, this is the time of innovation! The environment is truly changing and we're closer to open data than ever before. We have to give a big nod and thumbs up to Dexcom, Asante (again) and Tidepool (one more time) for moving the needle. Many questions exist on all of these news announcements, but right now it's just nice to simmer in the excitement a bit, and smile as we watch the momentum pick up.