Spanning the globe

Spanning the globe

Just in case anyone thought interconnected diabetes management (IDM) was an American thing, think again. Yes IDM is a global phenomenon as evidenced by a recent press release from our friends at Mendor which states;

“Mendor, a leading diabetes technology and solution company announced today that it has gotten a CE approval for its wireless and cellular (3G) glucose meter Mendor Smart. Mendor Smart automatically transmits glucose readings to Mendor’s cloud software for further analysis, storing and sharing. The meter is also equipped with programmable reminders and messages to help people with diabetes manage their condition.”

This news follows the news yesterday that the Dexcom (NASDAQ:DXCM) system would transmit readings to the way cool soon to be released Apple Watch. A piece of news which is getting major play in the mainstream media who still believes that anything Apple does must be great and therefore by association Dexcom must be way cool too. Frankly Dexcom was way cool before the Apple news but it’s good to see them get the recognition they deserve.

Now Diabetic Investor hates to rain on the parade here but once again history is repeating itself in the wacky world of diabetes devices. For those with short memories or anyone who had too many grey gooses, back in the day before competitive bidding when the glucose monitoring market was actually growing and reimbursement policies were favorable BGM companies loved to play copycat. Yes once someone came out with any innovation it was quickly copied by the competition. Alternate site testing, no coding, faster test results, and meters in pretty colors are just a few examples of this copycat mentality.

Although Diabetic Investor cannot remember the exact time, our memory isn’t what it used be, but back in the day we actually counted how many meters a patient had to choose from and the number came in well over 40. Think about that for a minute over 40 meters which basically do the same thing the same way. Is it any wonder that the BGM market transformed from a medical device to a commodity market? While it took longer than we thought it would it was just a matter of time before payors took advantage of this commodization, something they did with a vengeance.

Well it turns out history is now repeating itself only this time the big thing is connectivity with the cloud. Yes every diabetes device company is now pushing ever “smarter” devices which share information with the cloud, where it then can be shared, which in turn yada yada yada

One has to wonder with all this sharing going on just when the patient will get the information they need to actually improve their diabetes management. Perhaps an even better question is what will motivate the patient to actually follow the advice they are being given. Now just in case anyone thinks outcomes actually matter to a patient, think again. Diabetes is unlike other chronic disease states in that a patient doesn’t actually “feel” better when they are under good control. It’s also true as we have stated many times getting to good control isn’t easy and requires a fair amount of work from the patient. Therefore it’s perfectly logical to ask what will motivate the patient to do all this work?

Diabetic Investor believes as IDM evolves and becomes more commonplace the patient will be incentivized to achieve better outcomes. That they will be rewarded for monitoring their glucose, improving Hba1c, hitting exercise targets and so on. That diabetes device companies in their attempt to differentiate themselves from the competition will offer programs similar to an airlines frequent flyer program. The simple fact is diabetes is the perfect disease state for incentivization as there is near universal agreement on what constitutes good control and this data is easily verifiable. IDM and the use of the cloud makes it even easier as with the data in the cloud results can be shared not just with the patients’ healthcare team but also the meter company.

We’ve seen some of this on a small scale and believe it’s just a matter of time before reward programs become commonplace.

Times are a changing – thank goodness.