Eli Lilly to connect its upcoming digital insulin pen with Welldoc's diabetes app

Eli Lilly & Co. has signed a deal to link Welldoc’s digital health platform with its upcoming connected insulin devices and therapies.

The two will collaborate on a new version of Welldoc’s long-running BlueStar diabetes management app, to include dosing data for several insulins produced by Lilly, ahead of the Big Pharma’s future launch of its connected insulin pen.

The BlueStar app has been cleared by the FDA for adults with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, offering insulin titration support, a bolus calculator and personalized health coaching. It is designed to integrate with a range of blood sugar readers and continuous glucose monitoring systems.

The app received its eighth agency green light last June, expanding its use to people using long-acting insulins. More recently, Welldoc submitted a review request for its ninth indication, with the goal of adding bolus and premixed insulin titration support in type 2 diabetes.

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Meanwhile, the initial version of Lilly’s digital insulin pen will include an electronic module that attaches to the top of a prefilled, disposable delivery device which will pair with the app to keep track of its usage. The company is also developing a fully disposable pen.

"Insulin dosing data are a critical piece of the diabetes management puzzle for people who use insulin to manage their diabetes, and Lilly has made significant progress in developing connected insulin pen solutions to provide access to those data," Welldoc President and CEO Kevin McRaith said. "Our software will now bring all of the most important diabetes data directly into the hands of people living with the condition, their caregivers and their healthcare providers.”

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Both companies expect to submit applications to the FDA this year: with Lilly for its attachable data transfer module, and Welldoc for its new software app. The disposable insulin pen itself was previously approved by the agency in 2019. 

"Today, less than half of people who use insulins are achieving their target A1C goals,” said Marie Schiller, Lilly’s vice president of product development for connected care and insulins. “We want to simplify the experience of using insulin by integrating our medicines with the most innovative technology available."