Eli Lilly lines up launch of diabetes platform that tracks blood sugar, insulin pen use

With FDA clearance secured for its Bluetooth-connected insulin dose-tracking technology, Eli Lilly is ready to pick up the tempo.

The Big Pharma plans to begin rolling out its Tempo diabetes management platform in select U.S. clinics in the final weeks of this year, before expanding the technology’s reach across the country throughout 2023, Lilly announced Monday.

The platform combines Lilly’s prefilled, disposable Tempo Pens for insulin delivery with the compatible TempoSmart mobile app and the Tempo Smart Button, which is designed to track the pens’ insulin dosages.

Altogether, the platform is meant to help both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients more easily manage their insulin intake and glucose levels—since, “despite technological advancements, people continue to experience challenges with the complexities of insulin dosing,” said Kevin Cammack, head of connected care for Lilly Diabetes.

The Tempo Smart Button was cleared by the FDA in mid-September, Lilly said in this week’s announcement. When attached to the top of a Tempo insulin pen, it takes in and stores insulin dosing data, then automatically transfers that information to the TempoSmart app.

TempoSmart can connect to a variety of other devices and apps, taking in data not only from diabetes-centric technologies like Dexcom’s continuous glucose monitors and Lilly’s own blood glucose monitor, among others, but also from more general health-tracking wearables like those from Fitbit, Garmin, Google and Apple.

Using all of that information, the app gives users a single place to track their blood sugar levels and insulin dosages. They can also set medication reminders through the app and access educational resources personalized to their needs. Meanwhile, doctors can view patients’ progress through their own version of the platform, the Tempo Insights clinician hub.

Lilly developed the app in a collaboration with Welldoc; TempoSmart is, essentially, a private-label version of Welldoc’s existing BlueStar diabetes management app.

In addition to the upcoming U.S. rollout, Lilly is simultaneously plotting out the system’s European debut, since it also secured CE mark clearance for the technology in August.

The company said in the Monday announcement that it’s aiming to begin “small-scale pilots” in a handful of countries on the continent, but will do so through partnerships with existing diabetes management platforms, rather than launching Tempo as a standalone system.