10 Things to Look for in Diabetes Tech and Drugs in 2019


The coming year promises to be a busy one for innovations in diabetes tech and medicine. Here are ten things currently in development that may become available in 2019.

Omnipod DASH Insulin Pump

OmniPod DashOmnipod’s newest insulin pump, the Omnipod DASH, is a tubeless, wearable insulin pump that holds up to 200 units of insulin and delivers continuous insulin therapy through customizable basal rates and bolus amounts.

Like the previous models the DASH, consists of the Pod, which is a waterproof insulin pump worn on-body, and the Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM), which is a handheld device used to wirelessly control the Pod. The new PDM has a modern, touch-screen interface that is simple, colorful and intuitive.

With Bluetooth wireless technology, the Omnipod DASH System will also feature a suite of mobile applications (including Tidepool Loop) that will allow users quick and easy access to their PDM data on their smartphone and the ability to share therapy status information with up to 12 friends or family members.

Abbott’s Freestyle Libre 2 with Alerts and Bluetooth Connectivity

Abbott's FreeStyle Libre 2In October 2018, Abbott received CE Mark clearance for the Freestyle Libre 2 device. Although we do not know when this new and improved device will receive FDA approval, we can only hope that it will happen sometime during 2019.

Utilizing Bluetooth technology, the FreeStyle Libre 2 system features optional, customizable alarms for low glucose and high glucose, and a technical feature that notifies the user of signal loss (e.g., when the sensor is not communicating with the reader). In the event of these instances, the system will alert the user through sound or vibration (based on the user?s personal preference). The user continues to be able to scan their FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor as often as desired to see their glucose reading, trends and patterns, and eight-hour history.

 In Europe the Frestyle Libre 2 is offered at the same price as the first generation device.



Diabeloop’s Hybrid Closed Loop System

Called ‘DBLG1,’ Diabeloop’s closed loop system has received a CE mark , and will  launch in France in early 2019, followed by other European countries.

The DGLB1 System is an external medical device that connects 3 components: a CGM, a patch insulin pump and a locked-down handset hosting Diabeloop algorithm and user interface.

How does it work? Every 5 minutes, a glucose measurement is transmitted via Bluetooth technology to the handset. DBLG1 artificial intelligence analyzes data in real time and takes into account the patient’s physiology, history and data entries (meals or exercise) to determine the correct dose of insulin to administer.


Novo Nordisk’s Connected Insulin Pens

Novo_insulin-pensLast October, Novo Nordisk announced the launch of  two connected insulin pens.  The company plans to roll out the devices, dubbed the NovoPen 6 and NovoPen Echo Plus, worldwide, starting in early 2019. 

In addition to announcing the new products, the Danish pharma company announced non-exclusive technology partnerships with Dexcom, Glooko and Roche to allow their apps to be used with the new pens. Novo Nordisk also has an existing relationship with IBM Watson Health.

Beyond launching connected durable devices, Novo Nordisk expects to deliver connectivity for its disposable, pre-filled injection pens later in 2019. In the longer term, Novo Nordisk aims to increase the availability of connected pens and offer solutions for personalised treatment guidance.


InPen for Android and Outside the U.S.

inpen - Pen+AppInPen by Companion Medical has been available in the U.S. for iOS users since December 2017. InPen works exactly like a traditional insulin pen but has Bluetooth technology that connects to an easy-to-use smartphone app. It tracks each dose and delivers all of your data to the app on your smartphone. From there, the app calculates doses, displays blood glucose, and tracks insulin levels, storing up to a year of data.

On July 9th, 2018, Companion Medical received FDA clearance for the Android version of its InPen app, clearing the way for release of the first smart pen system for Android users. 

On July 19th, 2018 the company received CE mark for the InPen system, paving the way for launch in key international markets.


WaveForm CGM System

WaveForm completed the twelfth clinical trial for its continuous glucose monitoring (“CGM”) system earlier in 2018. The system isdesigned to be worn by patients for a 14-day period and features a painless insertion of it sensor. It also connects via Bluetooth to provide glucose data every minute to a patient’s smartphone.


SugarBEAT CGM System

SugarBEAT CGMSugarBEAT is parting with the industry trend of offering longer sensor wear times with its adhesive skin patch the size of a coin that patients change daily. The sensor is connected to a rechargeable transmitter and delivers results to a smartphone, tablet, watch or stand-alone reader. The device needs to be calibrated once a day with a finger stick, and every patch requires a 30-60 minute warm-up period after which SugarBEAT measures the amount of glucose present at five-minute intervals. Most recently, the company raised money to finance a European launch and a U.S. clinical trial.



Tidepool is an open source, not-for-profit company focused on liberating data from diabetes devices, supporting researchers, and providing great, free software to people with diabetes and their care teams.

The company has kicked off a project to build and support an FDA-regulated version of its Loop app, to be available in the iOS App Store, intended to work with commercially available insulin pumps and CGMs.


 Oral Semaglutide

Oral semaglutide is a pill to help treat diabetes that patients can take once daily. The drug works by stimulating insulin release, and hence, reducing blood sugar. In trials, oral semaglutide was given to patients with a short history of type 2 diabetes who had been treated with diet and exercise, and was found to be effective. When the highest dose was given, glycated hemoglobin was decreased by 1.5% from a baseline level of 8%.



The FDA plans to review this oral treatment for adults with type 1 diabetes in January 2019. It’s used to improve blood sugar control in patients who have type 1 and 2 diabetes. How does it work? It blocks glucose absorption and allows patients to excrete excess glucose through their urine.


It looks like 2019 holds promise for improving the lives of people with diabetes… and we’re excited about 2020, too, when we hope to see innovation from Bigfoot Biomedical, Beta Bionics, and Dexcom, and more, come to market. Happy New Year!





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Deborah Lynn Blumberg

Deborah Lynn Blumberg (deborahlynnblumberg.com; @dlblumberg) is an award-winning health and wellness and business writer and editor with over 15 years’ experience writing for publications including The Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor and Barron’s. She tells the stories of the people and companies that are changing our world for the better, and has a special interest in integrative and functional medicine.

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Sierra Pulver
4 years ago

I need some low carb lunch Ideas please send me some

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