ADA Product Roundup 2006

As you know, I’m focused on insulin-related gadgets and “life-changers.” Here’s a roundup of what’s (more or less) new and certainly exciting:

* DexCom Wireless Continuous Monitor – seemed a bit like the “coming out party” for theDexcom_booth_1 company’s first-ever wireless continuous glucose monitor. Seeing it up close and personal, I was more impressed than ever with the tiny sensor worn on the tummy. And Kelly was right, their marketing WAS incredible: a huge screen showing fast-motion scenes of real people, running around doing everyday things, untethered. I met a number of people wearing the unit, and raving about it. The Professional Software is available to physicians already, and the Patient Software package is on its way soon. The current product sports a 3-day sensor, but the company is already conducting patient trials with a 7-day sensor version.

* OmniPod Tubeless Insulin Pump — again, felt like a debutante ball for this first-ever tubeless insulin management system (a pump without strings). Lots of hustle and bustle around their booth, where many doctors seemed to be learning about the OmniPod for the first time. I tried to sign up again, but was shooed away by my good friends in marketing; they still don’t have coverage on the West Coast. *sigh*

* Non-Invasive Glucose Monitors – who will be first to bring one to market? Highlights were research results on four models: the OrSense, which uses red near infrared occlusion spectoroscopy technology (scanning your eyes) to collect data every 10-15 minutes. Next, the HypoMon fromHypomon AiMedics consists of a chest-belt transmitter that measures “physiological parameters” and a hand-held receiver unit that will even provide A1c readings. Then the OneLook from Lein Applied Diagnostics, which also measures BG by scanning your eye, with a low-power light. And finally the Aprise from Glucon, which uses a receptor worn on the skin to reading intravascular glucose levels. All very futuristic, but all showing promising results in early studies.

* Lilly HumaPen Memior – a brand new “smart” insulin pen coming to market this Fall that is digitalized with a date and time stamp and memory that stores info on up to 16 doses. The idea is that you can look back at your recent activity, and also eventually download the data from the pen (software coming in Phase 2). It’s also the first pen I’ve seen that does not appear to be either plastic or metallic. Rather, it’s dark burgundy with silver trim that looks like a slightly chunky executive-writing pen from say, Hewlett-Packard, complete with an equally sleek-looking case. Additional colors are in the works as well, I understand.

* Insulfon Injection Port - for easing the pain of shots for youngsters. This amazing new gizmo is a tiny plastic cannula, inserted just under the skin, normally used for cancer chemo patients. For children with diabetes, the comforable “port” is inserted using a numbing cream, and can be left in for up to three days. Then parents can give injections through this tiny receptor, and children never feel a shot. Early studies show a 0.93% decrease in A1c levels of kids using it. This one’s still under study, I believe.

* FreeStyle Navigator CGMS – the continuous monitor system from Abbott Diabetes that’s still awaiting FDA approval is looking much better this year, at least from a form-factor standpoint. They’ve revamped the receiver unit from a clunky black box into a more modular chrome design. The only surprise is that the sensor unit is still quite a chunk, especially compared to DexCom’s. It’s about half the size of the OmniPod’s insulin pod, in fact, which is strange considering it carries no insulin reservoire but only the tiny glucose-monitoring sensor.

* MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time System — the world’s first combo system of an insulin pump and continuous monitor was making a pretty big splash as well. On second look for me, the sensor seemed less obtrusive somehow. It’s pretty small, and hangs off a wire connected to the pump, so you do have twin infusion sites. When the rep asked me how Ifelt about wearing one, I told her I was waiting for the single-infusion-site model, and she just nodded her head. Meanwhile, the system is available in Canada (innocuous answer on why it went live there first), and should be shipping in the US soon.

* Exubera Inhaled Insulin — despite an extremely flashy showing at the conference (giant “ampitheather” with live host doing demos), I think the inhaler device — which looks decidedly like a medicinal bong — is a bomb, at least from an aesthetic standpoint. Stay tuned for upcoming post on this one.

* Stylish New Monitors — a few new “traditional” glucose monitors that are looking good include the FreeStyle Freedom, next-gen of their flagship monitor. This one is bigger than the Flash, but is still a small and handy shape and sports large, easy-to-read numbers, along with all the alarm options and best features of Abbott’s other meters. The new AgaMatrix co-branded with Liberty Medical is a little rectangle model with easy-grip rubber sides. It also has large numbers and ultra-easy buttons made simple for older or visually challenged patients. I want one, too, in part because David Kliff of Diabetic Investor gave it such a strong endorsement: he says the front-loading test strips with excellent speed and absorption make it one of the best monitors yet. A nice-looking “me too” rectangle model from Germany is the SmartLAB Genius meter, with a lifetime warranty.

Oh-so-much-more conference coverage to come.


10 Responses

  1. Eric Jensen
    Eric Jensen June 12, 2006 at 2:33 pm | | Reply

    Thanks, Amy, for that informative round-up. I just took the plunge and ordered a Dexcom unit for myself, so I’m glad to hear that other people are liking it. I can’t wait! (My wife is tired of hearing me talk about it already, and I don’t even have it yet.)

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Alexis
    Alexis June 12, 2006 at 4:10 pm | | Reply

    I’d be interested to hear what you thought about the size of the Dexcom receiver. I think for woman it might not be a huge issue since they can probably fit the receiver in their purse, but for me its probably the only thing I am a little hesitant about(I hate stuff in my pockets and have issues with even a simple cell phone).

  3. Living With Diabetes
    Living With Diabetes June 12, 2006 at 4:23 pm | | Reply

    I want to go!

    Diabetes Mine: ADA Product Roundup 2006 Go see what Amy’s up to! I have some questions (and these should show up on her site, since this is a trackback). So after seeing the Dexcom and Freestyle in person, which would…

  4. Jane
    Jane June 12, 2006 at 6:32 pm | | Reply

    Thanks, for the info. I checked the Omni Pod website, and I may even consider a pump if it’s tubeless, it’s also available in my area. The LilyPen sounds great too, I hope Phase II will be Mac compatible and not just PC only.

  5. Lisa
    Lisa June 13, 2006 at 10:25 am | | Reply

    Did you see the Glucoband? The watch style monitor? Also, where have you read about a two in one device for glucose measuring and insulin deliverey? I have thought about it but have not seen any mention of actual development? Thanks. Lisa.

  6. AmyT
    AmyT June 13, 2006 at 11:44 am | | Reply

    Hi Lisa,
    I could not find the Glucoband. DISAPPOINTED!

    But the combo device is the MiniMed Paradigm mentioned above.

  7. Lisa
    Lisa June 13, 2006 at 5:28 pm | | Reply

    Thanks Amy, I am familair with the Medtronics product. I thought you were refering to a device that used one infusion site to measure glucose and deliver insulin. My understanding is that the Paradigm uses two sites but has one monitor that both records the Glucose levels and delivers insulin. I really hope the Glucoband is for real-would be great and much more economical.

  8. Tiffany
    Tiffany June 14, 2006 at 7:28 am | | Reply

    Hi Amy,

    Thanks for the great update! I have been anticipating the release of Abbott’s Navigator CGMS…for at least four years. I’ve always preferred the Therasense products over all else, so this one looks promising. And they’re already working on a Navigator/pump combo, though I don’t expect that to be out for another few years (FDA approval for the pump and yadda yadda).

    I just wanted to clarify that the sensor unit for the Paradigm Real Time System is NOT connected to the pump by wires. If you have a look at my site,, I have some pictures of my own sensor/transmitter combo. It communicates with the pump via wireless RF; the only wire connects the sensor to the transmitter.

    Keep up the great work! :)


  9. paul
    paul June 14, 2006 at 1:00 pm | | Reply

    I don’t think you can ever have the same infusion site and sensing site— because the insulin delivered to the site would interfere with the glucose levels in that subcutaneous area.
    Unless, of course, the insulin delivery is intravenous, but that is highly invasive and unlikely

  10. Lisa
    Lisa June 14, 2006 at 5:58 pm | | Reply

    I aggree with you about the site issue for dual bg readings and insulin injections. I had not thought it through til the last day and then was thinking of a surface patch and injection site-but I am sure you are right that anything that close to an injection site whether surface or just below the skin surface would be impacted by the insulin. I worry about running out of sites for the insulin-I am 35 years along with the disease and hope for another 30. I am really hoping for a non-invasive continuous alternative for testing. I would love a good nights sleep. Lisa.

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