The $100 billion medical device maker Medtronic announced in September that it had received FDA approval for a new diabetes management system called the MiniMed 670G. Developed initially for patients with type 1 diabetes, a condition typically diagnosed in children and young adults, the MiniMed consists of a wirelessly connected pump and glucose monitor that continuously track a user’s blood sugar levels and deliver insulin, reducing the need for finger pricks (users still have to recalibrate the device with a traditional finger-stick reading every 12 hours).
“We try to do as much of the work on the behalf of patients,” says Michael Hill, Medtronic’s VP of Global Marketing. The company took the unusual step of working closely with the FDA to design clinical trials—an effort that resulted in a rapid, 104-day approval process for teens and adults to begin using the device this spring. The MiniMed joins a suite of Medtronic initiatives in diabetes care. Last year, the company launched an app that helps patients determine what they can eat based on their levels. A forthcoming Fitbit integration will let researchers aggregate glucose and activity data, to understand the role of exercise in treating diabetes.