Novo Nordisk to make its digital insulin pens compatible with Abbott, Glooko and more

Novo Nordisk has been working to make sure its upcoming connected insulin pens are compatible with the other diabetes-focused hardware on the market—including through a new collaboration with Abbott and its Freestyle Libre line of digital health tools and continuous glucose monitoring devices.

The nonexclusive partnership will integrate insulin dosing data from Novo Nordisk’s prefilled pens, which are set to launch early this year, with Abbott’s cloud-based data management system and smartphone app.

In addition, the connected insulin pens will be compatible with Glooko’s diasend platform, allowing users to upload their data remotely through any near-field communication-capable Android phone. Glooko and Novo Nordisk have been working together on the connected insulin pens since early 2017, with patients sharing data with their doctors through an in-clinic device and pilot project.

"Lack of reliable information is a cause of huge frustration for many people with diabetes and their doctors," said Anders Dyhr Toft, Novo Nordisk’s corporate VP of commercial innovation. "Together with partners like Abbott, our connected pens will give healthcare professionals a better understanding of a patient′s individual diabetes management and can help people with diabetes feel more confident in their treatment."

RELATED: Glooko, Novo Nordisk team up on 'personalized digital services' for diabetics

Novo Nordisk previously signed similar nonexclusive compatibility partnerships with Dexcom, Roche and IBM Watson Health. The global rollout of the company’s first connected insulin pens, the NovoPen 6 and NovoPen Echo Plus, is set to kick off in the first quarter of 2019 and reach more than 50 countries in the coming years, and will replace the NovoPen 5 and NovoPen Echo.

"This is a big step in using data to improve diabetes management. Until now, data from insulin pens was self-reported and subject to error, or often simply not captured,” said Glooko CEO Russ Johannesson.

“Our partnership with Novo Nordisk enables this insulin data to be seamlessly synced to diasend, where patients and providers can easily see the data correlated with glucose levels, activity information and more. This allows much more informed conversations and decisions about the insulin regimen as well as other aspects of the treatment plan," Johannesson added.

"Diabetes is a time intensive condition to manage. People with diabetes must make a variety of decisions every single day about their glucose monitoring, nutrition, insulin and medication intake,” said Jared Watkin, Abbott’s senior VP of diabetes care. “By enabling insulin dosing data from Novo Nordisk′s connected pens to be shared with our digital health tools, we′ll be able to help further eliminate those daily hassles for people, so they have more time to live a fuller, healthier life."