Clueless

Yesterday Medtronic acquired Klue who according to a story posted on Drug Delivery Business News is a as “software company that tracks people’s eating in real-time and analyzes it with artificial intelligence (AI) to help control diabetes.” The story goes onto state;

“Medtronic plans to incorporate Klue’s technology into its Personalized Closed Loop (PCL) insulin pump system, which won FDA breakthrough device designation in February. PCL is designed to automate insulin delivery in real-time, adapting to the user to simplify diabetes management, according to the company. Medtronic also said it will use Klue’s technology to boost analytics and insights for its continuous glucose monitor (CGM) technology to help people using multiple daily injections stay ahead of high- and low-glucose events.”

Now we’ll admit before this news broke, we were clueless as to who Klue was and what they did, which really isn’t that surprising as they haven’t been around all that long. The company was founded in 2016. And to be quite honest while we’re happy for the folks at Klue this news in no way impacts our already low opinion of Medtronic diabetes. Instead of acquiring some way cool whiz bang technology that even if it works won’t help patients all that much why not instead make a CGM that actually works.

Yet hidden in this clueless event is a glimpse into where the company as look at this line from the Medtronic press release;

“In addition, the Klue technology can be leveraged to enhance the company’s market-leading analytics and insights in their smart1 CGM technology to help people using multiple daily injections (MDI) stay ahead of high and low glucose events.”

Now if that doesn’t sound like a Tyler, we don’t know what does. Remember Medtronic is the market leader for INSULIN PUMPS and that sentence specifically mentions MDI. Patients who will be using Tyler.

Even though the Medtronic CGM sensor isn’t that reliable it does work occasionally which means the only piece missing to have a Tyler would be a connected pen. Given there are thousands of connected pen companies who would like nothing better than to be acquired it would easy for Medtronic to buy one or two of them and they too can enter what is becoming a very crowded Tyler market.

The simple fact is Medtronic is grasping at straws here. Now that the Control IQ is here, they know they no longer have the coolest toy in the toy chest. They understand that unless they do something their days as the market leader in insulin pumps are numbered. They see Tyler coming and understand if they aren’t in this market they will fall even further behind. They like us see the handwriting on the wall and understand that Tyler is huge threat to insulin pump sales. Therefore rather than swim against the tide better to swim downstream.

Will this move work? We haven’t a clue and based on Medtronic’s checkered track record we doubt if they have a clue either.