If we learned anything about diabetes products in 2016, it’s that progress can happen faster than we anticipate. The diabetes community was stunned in September when the FDA announced that it had approved Medtronic Diabetes’ MiniMed 670G system, the world’s first pump/sensor system to be able to dose insulin on its own. (Advocacy works!) One of the most exciting things about the approval of Medtronic’s 670G is not only access to the groundbreaking device itself, but the path it paves for similar products – by many companies – to win approval as well. (We’re keeping an eye on Bigfoot Biomedical, Inc, the company that back in July of this year enrolled its first patients in a clinical trial for the Bigfoot smartloop automated insulin delivery system.)
Now, as this year comes to a close, we’re listening to the buzz that continues to build around the new diabetes technology coming our way in 2017. The new year will bring a slate of highly anticipated products, including milestone devices like the OneTouch Via (a bolus-only delivery patch) and the above-mentioned Medtronic MiniMed 670G system (widely regarded as a rudimentary artificial pancreas).
We’ve rounded up descriptions of some of the most exciting diabetes products expected to hit the market in 2017, followed by an approximate timeframe of when they’ll become available to the public. Sure, what we really want is a cure in 2017, but we’ll take improved quality of life, thanks to new devices and tech, with tremendous gratitude.
Animas G5 Integrated Vibe Insulin Pump and CGM System
- What it is: This pump integrates Dexcom G5 technology with the Animas Vibe system. It’s especially exciting because it’s the only pump of its kind that is available to patients with type one diabetes as young as 2 years old. Premarket approval was submitted to the FDA in June 2016.
- Expected Launch Date: Unclear, sometime in 2017
Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre Pro and FreeStyle Libre
- What they are: The Freestyle Libre Pro, which received FDA approval in September of this year, is a small glucose sensor to be worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days. Once inserted, it measures glucose levels in interstitial fluids every 15 minutes, requiring no patient interaction with the device or the need to do manual finger pricks to calibrate the device. The FreeStyle Libre uses the same sensor, but it also comes with handheld device or an Android app to view the data and trends in real time.
- Expected Launch Dates: Early 2017, possibly
Dexcom Touchscreen Receiver and Android Capability
- What they are: The touchscreen receiver will be an upgraded version of what’s currently offered and will address pre-existing issues, such as durability and speaker malfunctions. Plus, Android users will soon be able to see their CGM G5 data on their mobile phones via an app, similar to the way in which Apple users access their CGM data.
- Expected Launch Dates: Early 2017
LifeScan’s OneTouch Via
- What it is: This wearable, on-demand delivery system allows people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to discreetly deliver mealtime insulin dosages anytime, anywhere. Early reports indicated it’s designed to be a slim, water-resistant patch that holds up to 200 units of fast-acting insulin and may be worn for three days at a time. This month, however, changes were submitted to the FDA to reflect changes in the OneTouch Via manufacturing process since the original clearance, so stay tuned for updates on this product.
- Expected Launch Date: Mid-Late 2017
Medtronic MiniMed 670G/Enlite 3 Hybrid Closed Loop
- What it is: Chances are that you’ve heard of this revolutionary insulin pump. It’s the first of its kind to use a hybrid closed loop system that obtains data from continuous glucose monitoring to tweak basal rates delivered to the user via the pump. While it’s not fully automated, studies have shown that the pump eases much of the burden associated with diabetes care and management, reducing the frequency of high and low blood sugar events.
- Expected Launch Date: Spring 2017
Tandem’s Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM Integration and Predictive Low Glucose Suspend Algorithm
- After the 2016 release of their next-generation t:slim X2 insulin pump, Tandem will continue to focus on progressive technology in 2017. The addition of Bluetooth to glucose monitoring technology means integration on the mobile end is slated. In the same vein, an algorithm that uses CGM data to help predict future low blood sugar before it occurs is in the works. It will adjust insulin dosages to help minimize the frequency and/or duration of hypoglycemic events.
- Expected Launch Dates:
- Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM Integration: Mid-2017
- Predictive Low Glucose Suspend: Late 2017
Other products to look out for in 2017 (and beyond) include a one-button insertion device from Dexcom, smaller Dexcom transmitter, Tandem hybrid closed loop technologies, and updates to Insulet’s OmniPod, including a new PDM design.
We may not know exactly what the future holds, but f anything is certain, it’s that the future of diabetes technology looks very bright.