Continuous Glucose Monitoring: A Case Study for Commercializing Products In The Era of Patient-Driven Health Care
Continuous glucose monitoring for patients with diabetes presents an example of how an individual product has far less value than the integrated solution the technology enables. While continuous glucose monitoring offers significant value to a broad range of patients, the technology has still not fulfilled its market potential. Factors hindering more widespread adoption include inaccuracy, difficulty in using the systems, and low levels of patient adherence. But the greatest obstacle in CGM is the disconnect between CGM and treatment planning; CGM produces mounds of data that patients and even physicians don't know how to use. According to Health Care Advances, if this powerful dataset is optimized, shared, and applied, it could shift CGM from a niche product for a small number of type 1 diabetes patients into a standard of care for many metabolic diseases.
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Cellnovo is working smack at the intersection of two of the hottest areas in medtech: diabetes and mobile health. Aiming to be the iTunes of diabetes care, the firm hopes to transform today's piecemeal management of the disease. The private company has developed an integrated platform designed to ease the burden for patients with type 1 diabetes, their physicians and their families. Cellnovo's system integrates a blood glucose meter, an insulin pump, and a simple interface that makes it easy to gather and share among all interested parties the many parameters associated with diabetes care: diet, level and frequency of blood glucose readings, insulin delivery profiles, degree of physical activity, and health status, for example. Indeed, because success in type 1 diabetes care heavily depends upon the compliance and adherence of patients to numerous daily tasks as they try to live normal lives, the disease is a good test case for the first end-to-end, patient-centric solution.
An urgent need exists for a simple and cost-effective way to support insulin therapy, mainly for people with type 2 diabetes, in between physician check-ups. Hygieia Inc. plans on addressing this need in a big way with its patient- and clinician-friendly Diabetes Insulin Guidance System (DIGS), designed to replace commonly used glucose meters that simply provide blood sugar readings. Hygieia's DIGS device is designed to support diabetes patients' glycemic control by providing them with with simple dose-by-dose insulin recommendations.
Despite the slumping economy, the diabetes market continues to be a very active area, with treatment-changing products recently launched or in late-stage development. Although no industry has been able to escape the effects of the US recession, and certain segments of the diabetes market have seen a decline in sales, other areas continue to move forward. Once the economy returns to healthier levels, the overall market is expected to see a renewal of growth. Meanwhile, an expanded emphasis on emerging international markets could help offset some of the sluggish numbers in the US and parts of Europe.