Abbott has forged a partnership with Insulet Corporation to integrate its glucose-sensing technology with an automated insulin delivery system developed by the former for patients with diabetes. Specifically, Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre system will now become compatible with Insulet’s Omnipod Horizon, in an effort to “offer personalized automated insulin delivery and care for people living with diabetes.”
The combined technology will operate through an app on users’ smartphones. This technology will transfer glucose data from the sensor to the pod. After that, the pod will use an embedded algorithm to automatically adjust insulin delivery without any additional devices. The technology’s continuous automated insulin delivery mode will also allow users to manually take a dose of fast-acting insulin, or bolus, before meals to ensure optimal performance. The combined system is also expected to be the first of its kind with a disposable wearable sensor and pump.
As Abbott and Insulet can sell their products “through the pharmacy,” the platform will be made available to users in a “pay-as-you-go” model. in During an e-mail exchange with The American Journal of Managed Care®, Marc Taub, PhD, the divisional vice president of technical operations for diabetes care at Abbott, says that this method “allows users to acquire the supplies they need at that moment.”
In 2018, some senior users of the FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system gained Medicare (insurance) coverage for the device. The Omnipod insulin pump also achieved coverage via Medicare Part D in 2018, after first being cleared by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005. It is unclear how the combined technologies are going to be covered by insurance.
Although there is no expected launch date for the platform, currently, Taub has said that the companies “are working to bring this integrated offering to people with diabetes globally as soon as possible.”
Dexcom, a competitor of Abbott, has also announced a commercial agreement with Insulet to integrate their own Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) with the Omnipod Horizon. The global commercialization agreement signed between Insulet and Dexcom has cemented the integration of current and future Dexcom CGMs with the Omnipod.
According to a press release, the Omnipod Horizon Automated Insulin Delivery System, will “use sensor values from the Dexcom G6 and next-generation G7 CGM systems to predict glucose levels into the future and automatically adjust the insulin dose required to help reduce the occurrence of blood glucose highs and lows.” The Omnipod Horizon system is expected to launch in the second half of 2020.