Medtronic Makes Major Move to Focus on More than Pumps and CGMs - Acquires Diabeter Clinic in the Netherlands
By Adam Brown
Twitter Summary: @MDT_diabetes acquires Diabeter, big move into holistic care + ambitious goal of 20 mil patients served by 2020! Pres. Hakami shares his views
Earlier this month, Medtronic announced the acquisition of Diabeter, a Netherlands-based type 1 diabetes clinic that manages over 1,500 pediatric and young adult patients. The Diabeter clinic leverages technology to help patients both in-person and remotely, leading to some pretty impressive results: about 85% of Diabeter’s insulin pump users and ~50% of its multiple daily injection (MDI) users have an A1c <7.5%, outstanding considering the high A1cs typically seen in the young adult population.
Our team had the opportunity to speak with the new Medtronic Diabetes President Hooman Hakami to learn more about the bold acquisition. According to Mr. Hakami, a particularly exciting aspect of Diabeter is that it moves beyond the model of infrequent (and very short) visits to an endocrinologist a few times per year. Diabeter provides near-real-time, personalized care, as patients’ glucose and insulin data are tracked remotely and feedback is given to patients much more quickly. The clinic has a custom developed system that allows patients to easily upload their own data, and allows providers to monitor it and identify those who need help. That ultimately helps patients achieve better glucose stability, and ideally, avoid hospitalizations and long-term complications in the long run. Medtronic’s goal with the acquisition is to help expand the Diabeter model of diabetes care to more places in the Netherlands and Europe.
In our conversation, Mr. Hakami also shared his vision to take Medtronic Diabetes far beyond insulin pumps and CGM sensors to a “more holistic diabetes management company.” The company’s goal is to serve 20 million patients with diabetes by 2020, an approximate 20-fold increase from its current worldwide patient base of ~700,000. To enable that growth, Medtronic plans to expand into services and solutions (e.g., data management, information technology for clinics), as well as type 2 diabetes care – both are in addition to its continued focus on insulin pumps, CGMs, and the artificial pancreas. It is encouraging to see Medtronic thinking about different models of delivering diabetes care, especially given the growing number of patients, the limited number of providers (and their associated time), and the challenges of interpreting glucose/insulin data. –AB/AJW