Healthcare Technology Featured Article

March 25, 2021

Watch and See: Diabetes Tech in 2021




Just like everything in the medical field, technology has made caring for loved ones and managing diseases, simpler and more efficient. With the pandemic taking over everything in medicine and medical technology some of the biggest and most impressive technological releases slated for 2020 were pushed back. 2021 has become the year for new tech to be released in the world of diabetes management! Here are some of the best things to keep an eye out for in the upcoming year.

Dexcom G7

When it comes to continuous glucose monitors, smaller is better. The Dexcom G6 made big waves when it was first released and the newest iteration of the same app is sure to bring the same amount of praise.  Not only does a CGM help you manage your diabetes, it can also lead to discounted health or life insurance premiums.

Matt Schmidt of Diabetes Life Solutions mentions “certain insurance providers are offering discounted premiums if a person is willing to share their data from their CGM devices.  This additional data will allow an underwriter to determine if the applicant is eligible for discounted premiums.  Life insurance with diabetes tends to always be more expensive, so this is a way to help lower the costs of coverage.”

The sensor itself is much smaller than the G6 and is completely disposable for easy transition from one to another. While the company was originally planning to release this at the end of 2020 but has moved the release date to sometime in the fall of 2021. They’ve also been pushing to keep the price down and production high so anyone who wants to take part in this new stage of tech can get it for a small cost.

Abbott Freestyle Libre 3

Abbott and Dexcom have competed to provide the best in continuous glucose monitors for their customers for years. The Libre 2 has been in competition with the equipment from Dexcom as this year the newly released product integrated some of the features that set Dexcom apart. The Freestyle Libre 2 includes alarms that sound anytime users have a high or low blood sugar alert.

The Freestyle Libre 3 has been released in markets around Europe and is much smaller and thinner and automatically updates blood glucose values without the need to scan before updating. The newest version will also allow users to integrate with insulin pumps and closed-loop systems for ease of access. There’s no hard date for a US debut but with good reviews around Europe, the drop should be coming soon.

Medtronic 780G

The company itself describes this as a hybrid closed loop system with two unique features that set it apart from others on the market. The first is that the unit can send automatic correction boluses and second, users can set goals for as low as 100mg/dL which wasn’t available on earlier models.

Again, this model has been released in Europe but has found blockades when trying to get approval from the FDA. There’s hope that the Medtronic 780G will be released later in 2021 as the company continues to work with the federal agency on a path forward.

Omnipod Horizon

Omnipod made a name for themselves when they created a tubeless insulin pump and the Horizon is set to be the upgrade needed to put them back on the map. The system will incorporate a new continuous glucose monitor into the system to close the loop and give users automatic insulin adjustments.

Users reported they were able to keep tight control of their blood sugar with a target of 110 mg/dL after trials of the technology. While Horizon was supposed to debut in 2020, the company had software issues that pushed back the launch. The product is now set to launch in 2021.

Tandem t:sport insulin pump

Insulin pumps have been bulkier and not discreet in years past but the t:sport is set to change that! The new pump from Tandem is supposed to be half the size of the companies t:slim which was already small and sleek. While the t:slim still had controls on the pump itself, the t:sport will be operated exclusively by external devices or smartphones.

The FDA is causing roadblocks for Tandem as well and several blocks will need to be cleared before they can go to market. They're hoping to push this out by the end of 2021.

Tandem t:connect mobile app

There’s an app for everything these days including running an insulin pump. Tandem users who rely on the t:slim can connect to the pump with their smartphone to make changes and store data. The app is set to be updated in 2021 which will feature remote bolus capability. They’ll be able to connect to their t:slim to make adjustments without touching their device instead of waiting for the t:sport to be released.

The FDA is taking its time to review the changes Tandem is seeking to make with this app as well. There are ideas that parents could administer a bolus to a child in another room with the app or even from a more remote distance. These features would put the company and the mobile app ahead of many other competitors.

Takeaway

Covid knocked many things for a loop including the release of new technology. 2021 is soon to be the year of change as all the diabetes medical tech companies rush to put their latest and greatest gadgets on the market.  Diabetes is a very challenging disease to live with, but advancements in technology can make life slightly easier.  Between slim designs and mobile apps, the future for diabetes tech in 2021 looks bright!









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