Will Wonders Never Cease

Will Wonders Never Cease

Ok so Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) reports earnings this morning and fails to mention they are launching a new version of the VerioIQ monitor. Yep well after the earnings announcement an email shows up which states;

“LifeScan, Inc. has introduced the new OneTouch Verio® Blood Glucose Monitoring System that helps patients with diabetes better understand their results without any extra effort.  Easy to use, the OneTouch Verio® System features a color-coded range indicator that shows whether a test result is within, below or above the range limits set in the meter without the need to scroll or push buttons. It also looks for signs of progress and provides positive reinforcement with Progress Notes, which inform patients about the progress they are making in managing their diabetes and how often their blood glucose results are in range.”

The new Verio also has the following features besides what’s mentioned above –

  • Automatic 7-day averages, 14-, 30- and 90-day averages also available.
  • High-resolution Color Display with large on-screen results.
  • Accurate Results: Meets the new ISO 15197:2013 standard for system accuracy.

Given that LifeScan has thrown almost everything into this new meter but the kitchen sink one has to wonder why they didn’t go all the way and build in wireless Bluetooth technology so that users could easily upload their readings to the cloud where they can be seen by their diabetes management team. Or why they didn’t stick with, excuse the play on words here, having the meter rechargeable as the current version of the Verio is?

Quite frankly this is what’s so maddening about the old guard as this system shows its three steps forward and two steps backwards. And please let’s not use the excuse that Bluetooth or being rechargeable was too expensive, heck if no name companies can install these features it seems like JNJ should be able to do so as well.

Listen if the company truly wanted to make a splash they would have gone all the way and not just add in Bluetooth or rechargeable battery but also launched …wait for it … a way cool app and/or way cool web site that would collect the readings and …wait for it… help patients make sense of all this data. We would really would have been impressed had they also incorporated the ability to automatically re-order test strips or OMG eliminate the middleman entirely and ship strips to a patient directly. Things that much smaller companies can do and one would think JNJ should be able to do.

What’s even crazier here and yes we know that is getting redundant is that the company will spend even more money to add these features and could have actually saved money by not having to go back to the FDA when these features are ready.

Still Diabetic Investor applauds JNJ for making these improvements we just wish they would have gone all the way. Frankly none of these new features by themselves are all that innovative nor are they unique as JNJ is merely copying what smaller more nimble companies did a long time ago. Again not all that surprising as copying another companies innovations has long been a standard in the BGM market.  However companies like Telcare and Livongo should take note here that JNJ the big boy on the meter block is now playing in their sandbox.

Yes my friends the wacky world of diabetes devices is about to get even wackier – enjoy the ride.