This week, Tandem Diabetes Care’s t:slim X2 insulin pump and Control-IQ algorithm made headlines as they became the first to integrate with Dexcom’s G7 sensor to create an artificial pancreas system. A mere 24 hours later, they’re already having to share the spotlight.
On Thursday, the day after Dexcom announced the Tandem team-up, Beta Bionics revealed that its technology, too, has been tapped to link with the G7 continuous glucose monitor. In this case, the resulting automated insulin delivery system will comprise Dexcom’s sensor plus Beta Bionics’ insulin pump and dosing software, which together have been dubbed the iLet Bionic Pancreas and were previously compatible only with Dexcom’s G6 sensor.
The iLet system was cleared by the FDA earlier this year for use by people with Type 1 diabetes who are at least 6 years old, while the G7 sensor earned its own green light at the end of 2022, with a broader indication: It can be used by individuals with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, starting at the age of 2.
As with other artificial pancreas systems, the Dexcom-Beta Bionics iteration will see the G7 sensor send its blood sugar readings to the Beta Bionics dosing algorithm, which will analyze a user’s glucose levels to determine whether any adjustments should be made to the connected insulin pump’s output.
Dexcom’s device transmits its readings every five minutes. The 10-day sensor was designed to be 60% smaller than its predecessor, while also improving upon the G6’s blood sugar-measuring accuracy levels.
Beta Bionics’ iLet system is also meant to one-up its competitors in the field. For example, while other automated dosing algorithms typically require a doctor to program certain starting parameters, Beta Bionics’ software needs only a user’s body weight to begin calculating proper insulin dosages. Plus, rather than requiring users to meticulously calculate the number of carbohydrates they’re consuming at every meal, the system simplifies the process down to three preset options: a small, medium or large amount of carbs.
The new artificial pancreas will begin its U.S. launch on Dec. 18. At that time, current iLet users will be able to install a new firmware update for the system’s connected smartphone app that’ll allow them to integrate the G7 sensor into their existing artificial pancreas technology, without being charged for new hardware. The iLet update—which will be available through the Apple and Google app stores for iPhone and Android users, respectively—will let users choose between either a G6 or G7 sensor, and they’ll also be able to switch back and forth between the two, depending on which of they devices they have on hand.
“Our goal is to give our patients choice with their CGM technology and to be able to update quickly and easily without new hardware or additional costs,” Sean Saint, Beta Bionics CEO, said in Thursday’s announcement.
“We truly appreciate our partnership with Dexcom and their speed and adaptability,” Saint continued. “Once we established our timeline, we were able to rapidly integrate, test and launch with Dexcom G7 in only four months. It’s a clear testament to our teams working in unison with a common goal of providing the latest technology to help users manage their diabetes with less work and less burden.”