With new Medtronic pact, Novo Nordisk's smart insulin pen to link with all major CGMs

Medtronic and Novo Nordisk have agreed to integrate their digital offerings for people with diabetes, including the sharing of data between continuous glucose monitoring devices and smart insulin pens.

The collaboration is similar to a contemporaneously announced move from the two companies’ competitors: a nonexclusive agreement between the devicemaker Abbott and insulin manufacturer Sanofi. 

But for Novo Nordisk, the agreement with Medtronic and its predictive Guardian Connect system completes its set of major producers of continuous blood sugar monitors—as it continues to develop its connected insulin pen, the Danish company has lined up data compatibility agreements with Abbott, Glooko and others.

“Millions of people living with diabetes work to control their sugar levels and track their insulin injections every day,” said Camilla Sylvest, executive vice president of commercial strategy and corporate affairs at Novo Nordisk, which estimates people spend an average of an hour a day on self-care. “To help ease the hassle of diabetes management, we are excited to be partnering with Medtronic, the largest medical device company in the world.” 

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Novo Nordisk plans to launch its smart insulin pens—the NovoPen 6 and NovoPen Echo Plus, as well as a disposable, prefilled option—starting next year. In addition, Medtronic’s Guardian Connect system will be updated to integrate data from the smart pens.

“We see incredible power in combining a variety of data points to drive insights that help people living with diabetes make more informed decisions around managing their glucose levels,” said Alejandro Galindo, president of the Intensive Insulin Management division within Medtronic’s Diabetes Group. 

“Our new agreement with Novo Nordisk, the world’s largest producer of insulin, will streamline the sharing of two of the most important pieces of information—glucose measurements and insulin dosed,” Galindo said. “With this, Medtronic can further enhance our market-leading analytics and insights to help ease the burden of diabetes.”

Additionally, the two companies say bringing together those data points will also help inform patients’ healthcare providers, helping them better manage blood sugar levels and develop plans for increasing the time spent in an optimal range.