Insulin Pen

DexCom has announced that they will be working with Google Life Sciences to produce smaller, cheaper continuous glucose monitors (CGM) than those currently available. The new devices will be aimed not just at people with type 1 diabetes, but type 2 as well.

The new device should be “the size of a dime,” and provide solutions to many of the reservations consumers have expressed about using DexCom’s CGM. The first of these new devices should be ready within two to three years.

“Our objectives in this collaboration are very far-reaching,” said Kevin Sayer, DexCom CEO.

“We intend to work together to develop simple, low-cost sensor systems integrated with advanced data analytics platforms to drive our entry into the type 2 market, expand our penetration into the type 1 market, and to accelerate the expansion of continues glucose marketing into other markets such as the hospital and gestational diabetes.”

The companies plan to make the devices disposable. They will consist of a low-cost sensor that connects to an online cloud, replacing the fingerstick glucometer currently used by CGMs. This will both improve the usefulness of the data and reduce healthcare costs.

DexCom Executive Vice President of Strategy and Product Development Steve Pacelli said:

“Five plus years from now, our goal would be to have a sensor that would be something that’s miniaturized, that looks more like a bandage than a medical device, that’s fully disposable.

“You get it to the point where you overcome basically all of the objections that a patient would have to wearing the device – it talks to your phone, it doesn’t have to be calibrated, you don’t take fingersticks anymore  – there really isn’t a reason that couldn’t get very significant penetration into the type 1 market in the US.”

Google’s role in the collaboration will focus primarily on research and development, while DexCom deals with the sales and marketing side of things.

On the subject of working with Google, Sayer said:

“What Google brings is they are very, very good at miniaturizing components and all these electronics, you that’s what they do. Any they can do that much faster than we do. What they’re bringing is that know-how, that technology, a whole bunch of R&D resources, and engineers to put behind this platform.”