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The medical technology company Medtronic announced in September 2016 that it had received FDA approval for a new diabetes management system called the MiniMed 670G. Developed for patients with type 1 diabetes, a condition typically diagnosed in children and young adults, the MiniMed 670G consists of a wirelessly connected pump and glucose monitor that continuously track a user’s 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, 100-day approval process for teens and adults to begin using the device this spring.
The MiniMed 670G joins a suite of Medtronic initiatives in diabetes care. In 2016, the company launched an app that helps users understand how they will react to certain foods based on their sugar levels. A forthcoming Fitbit integration will let researchers aggregate glucose and activity data, to understand the role of exercise in treating diabetes.