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Tech Updates: G7 CGM, DIY LoopLink, Glucose Prediction Apps

By Reshma Rajasingh, June Dong, and Hanna Gutow

DiabetesMine’s 2020 Innovation Days covered the latest in diabetes technology, including advances in continuous glucose monitoring and glucose prediction

DiabetesMine Innovation Days 2020 featured exciting advances in diabetes technology. While many upcoming diabetes devices are currently experiencing delays in clearance and marketing due to COVID-19,  we bring you some highlights from the virtual conference – including devices to look forward to and apps that are already available.

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CGM for people with type 2 and the Dexcom G7

During a keynote presentation,“The Future of CGM,” Dexcom CEO Kevin Sayer shared his optimistic outlook on the use of continuous glucose monitors (CGM) for a growing number of people with diabetes. The Dexcom Clarity software has been used in more clinics during the pandemic, illustrating the importance of CGM and remote technology right now and in the future. Sayer also said that CGM is becoming increasingly useful for people with type 2 diabetes – pilot data from UnitedHealth Group’s Level 2 program showed that people with type 2 diabetes (even those not on intensive insulin therapy) experienced more stable glucose levels with CGM use.

Sayer also discussed the upcoming Dexcom G7 CGM. The sensor will first launch with a 10-day wear, though Dexcom hopes to expand its lifetime to 15 days in the near future. Similar to the G6 sensor, the G7 CGM will continue to allow DIY use for people using DIY looping. Read more about the G7 here.

DIY LoopLink – a smaller alternative to RileyLink

Technology blogger Scott Hanselman (one of the first Loop users) and former NASA engineer Marquette Trishaun revealed their newest product in development: LoopLink. As background, Loop is a do-it-yourself (DIY) automated insulin delivery system (AID). It requires use of CGM readings and a device to communicate between the CGM and a compatible insulin pump. For those familiar with this system, RileyLink is one communications bridge device. The new LoopLink (pictured at right) is a smaller and thinner alternative that aims to be compatible with RileyLink, and it has double the range for device communication. Hanselman is working with the Nightscout Foundation to hopefully make the product widely available by December. When released, LoopLink will only be compatible with Omnipod insulin pumps, and it will cost about $125. If you are interested in learning more or testing an early version of this product to provide feedback to the developers before the product is released, visit the website.

Glucose Prediction Apps

These apps were presented at the DiabetesMine virtual conference and are each available in select countries. While we can’t yet confirm the safety or efficacy of each app, we wanted to share the exciting advances – we’ll keep you updated on the latest technology as we learn more.

Diabits is a Canadian DIY companion app that aims to predict your glucose levels ahead of time so you can make adjustments for the future. Currently Diabits needs at least five days of CGM data to estimate glucose levels one hour into the future and predict nighttime hypoglycemia nine hours in advance. The app uses CGM data, food information that you enter, and smartphone activity data to provide glucose sensing predictions. Diabits is compatible with Dexcom CGM devices with Share (some G4, all G5 and G6 sensors) and available for free for iOS and Android, but it’s not yet available in the US.

Additional features:

  • Users receive a Weekly Analytics Report via email that summarizes trends in glucose levels, including Time in Range and average daily glucose.

  • Follow feature gives care-partners access to your glucose predictions.

  • Endobits is the healthcare professional platform that works with Diabits so that your healthcare team can view and evaluate your data remotely.

January AI uses machine learning to predict a user’s glucose response even without real-time CGM data – making it especially useful for people with type 2 diabetes not on insulin (the app is not currently designed for people with type 1 diabetes). Noosheen Hashemi, Founder and CEO of January AI, provided a look at the future of glucose sensing with its newest algorithm. Users start by wearing a CGM for two weeks so that the January AI algorithm can become familiar with their individual glucose responses. Then, the app can provide predictions for how certain foods or activities may affect glucose levels, as well as tools for staying in range, such as how long to walk after a meal. To get these insights, people take a photo of their food or enter the ingredients into the system, and January AI uses a built-in database of over 16 million foods to identify the nutritional value of what you are eating. January AI uses a paid subscription model – the three month starter package costs $288 and includes two CGMs, a telehealth visit, and access to the app. The app provides information about glucose patterns, but cannot replace a glucose monitoring device.

Quin is a free UK-based mobile app that helps people on multiple daily injections of insulin calculate insulin titration and dose timing. Founder and CEO Cyndi Williams shared that using the app, 67% of people spent more Time in Range, and 75% of people had fewer high and low glucose events. Users are asked to log three weeks of information in the app about their meals (size, time eaten, and an optional carb count), basal and bolus insulin doses, and glucose treatments, so the app can gain sufficient insight about the individual. It claims Users can then look at past meals, predict glucose levels for the next five hours, and receive reminders for pre-scheduled events, like mealtimes and insulin doses. For now, the app is available only for people taking insulin via syringe or pen in the EU and select other European countries, and only for iOS.