LifeScan, best-known for its blood glucose monitoring meters and test strips, this week announced an agreement with Sanvita Medical to move into continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), which is poised to become the standard of care for the vast majority of people with diabetes who don’t use insulin.
Sanvita Medical, a subsidiary of Nova Biomedical Corp, will design a CGM sensor that will integrate with LifeScan’s OneTouch Reveal digital portfolio, including the OneTouch Reveal smartphone app
, developed when LifeScan was owned by healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson. The app collects information from OneTouch meters, can give patients information on blood glucose trends, and can share data with a physician or an insurer.
LifeScan’s OneTouch brand of blood glucose meters, testing strips, lancets, and point-of-care systems are well known to individual consumers and hospitals. Spokesperson Bridget Doherty told The American Journal of Managed Care®
in an email that the partnership will allow LifeScan to offer CGM as a “complement” to its current products.
“Through this agreement, LifeScan will soon be able to offer the spectrum of diabetes monitoring solutions to meet almost any need for a wide variety of patients (type 1 and type 2)—from our blood glucose monitoring products to our digital products to CGM products with Sanvita,” she said.
But others see the move as another sign of a shifting diabetes technology landscape. A year ago, Diabetes Investor
analyst David Kliff predicted
LifeScan would take this step; he wrote that blood glucose management companies would need to transition to CGM becoming the new normal, one packaged with analytics and coaching—something LifeScan already has with the OneTouch Reveal app. LifeScan also has an existing relationship with Welldoc, creator of the BlueStar therapeutic app.
CGM has become the standard of care for those with type 1 diabetes and those with type 2 diabetes (T2D) who use multiple daily injections. Right now, most payers will not cover CGM for the larger population of people with T2D who manage their disease without insulin, even though experts believe more widespread use would lead to increased time-in-range
and slower disease progression; ultimately, this would mean fewer costly long-term complications.
Current CGM leaders, such as Abbott and Dexcom, are making advances and forming partnerships, such as Dexcom’s relationship with Google, that will make CGM more accessible
to this larger group of patients. More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes; all but 1.25 million have T2D. An estimated 400 million people worldwide have diabetes.
The announcement comes after a period of change for LifeScan. In October 2017, the company announced it would cease US sales of its insulin pumps, and the division was sold last year
to Platinum Equity for $2.1 billion.