2020 is set to be an exciting year for anyone interested in switching to or upgrading their hybrid closed loop pump.
Not only does Medtronic have a slew of improvements and advanced features planned for their next-generation AID system, but Tandem just launched its first hybrid-closed loop system, Control IQ, in partnership with Dexcom last month.
Now, Dexcom is making headlines again for their most recent partnership with Insulet, the company behind the trusted tubeless system, Omnipod.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the features available in this newest AID system as well as some other big reveals Insulet has planned for 2020.
Next Generation Omnipod AID System
Like Tandem’s Control IQ, the new Omnipod system will work by integrating the highly popular Pod with the Dexcom G6 CGM.
At the time of market release, which is expected in early 2021, the system will work exclusively with the current G6 Dexcom sensor which provides highly accurate glucose readings without the need for fingersticks. But the system will also be fully compatible with Dexcom’s next generations sensor–the G7–which should be released at the end of 2020 with a wider commercial release in early 2021.
Expected Features and Benefits
The system will include a number of features that we have come to expect from newer AID systems, including:
- Automated basal rate adjustment using micro boluses to increase time in range.
- Automatic corrections to avoid hyperglycemia and for missed mealtime boluses.
- Adjustable settings for times of increased activity or when hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia is more likely.
Advanced and Unique Features
The Omnipod system will also include a number of advanced and unique features that we haven’t seen in current products on the market, including:
- Customizable blood sugar targets.
- Full control over the system through an optional smartphone app.
- Direct communication between the sensor and pod that does not require a control device or smartphone to be within range for automated insulin delivery.
And of course, this will be the first AID system available on a tubeless pump device.
This feature, along with the fact that it has been approved for ages as young as 6, makes it an especially great choice for children living with type 1 diabetes.
Insulet’s Tidepool Partnership Expands Choices
If you prefer a more hands-on approach to your diabetes, you still may have a chance to benefit from the advanced features of an Omnipod AID system.
Currently, Insulet is working with Tidepool, a non-profit that is developing an open-source IOS phone app and algorithm, in the hopes of extending looping capabilities to more of their Omnipod users.
This new system would allow users to link the Dexcom CGM to their Omnipod using the app. The Loop algorithm contained in the app allows customization and automation of insulin basal rates and correction boluses similar to other AID Systems.
In addition to the Tidepool partnership, Insulet has recently announced a partnership with Abbott that will integrate the next generation Freestyle Libre CGM with the new Omnipod AID system. This integrated system is still a way off, but it is certainly something to look forward to.
Unlike other DIY looping apps, Tidepool is seeking FDA approval for its algorithm so it can be downloaded through the App Store and work with newer, in-warranty pumps and CGM devices.
Also, unlike the current Loop algorithm, this one will come with a tutorial and certain safeguards within the app.
Other Tidepool Partnerships
In addition to Insulet, Tidepool has also entered into partnerships with Medtronic and Dexcom. As of now, there is no clear timeline on when the FDA might approve the algorithm or when the app may be available for download.
While we may need to wait a bit longer for truly flexible AID systems that provide choices to the consumer, it is always a positive to see companies, such as Insulet, add to the field of advanced diabetes management tech.