FDA Approves Medtronic’s AI Powered Continuous Glucose Monitor

Earlier this month the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Medtronic’s Guardian Connect system. Guardian Connect is a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) tool that uses artificial intelligence to aid diabetes patients who use multiple daily injections of insulin. The solution was approved for patients ages 14 to 75 years old.

The Guardian Connect system is the first CGM to take advantage of AI by using a predictive algorithm to prevent hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia in people who suffer from diabetes. The algorithm collects data from the Sugar.IQ diabetes assistant, powered by IBM Watson Health, which monitors how a patient’s blood glucose levels respond to different elements, like food intake, insulin dosages and even their daily physical routines.

Data, Monitoring and Predictive Analytics Can Improve Patient Care

By utilizing continuous monitoring from the Guardian Sensor 3 which is placed on the abdomen to monitor glucose levels combined with the predictive analytics provided by the Sugar.IQ diabetes assistant was a success in the Guardian Connect’s clinical trial. According to Medtronic, the system was able to accurately alert patients about 98.5% of hypoglycemic events, up to 60 minutes prior to each event. The system also has the ability to alert care takers and family members in real-time or via text message, giving diabetes patients and those in their care ample time to remedy the pending issue. And even better, no serious adverse events were reported during the system’s clinical trial.

By introducing a solution that can predict adverse events before they even happen, Guardian Connect is easing the burden for people that suffer from diabetes and those that care for them. In the United States alone the number of diabetic patients is 29 million people or nearly 10% of the US population. Solutions like Guardian Connect demonstrate how artificial intelligence and predictive analytics can decrease the burden of such chronic conditions for healthcare providers while still improving patient care.

“Despite proven benefits and advances in technology, only a minority of insulin-using people with diabetes currently use continuous glucose monitors. Newer sensors paired with intelligent algorithms that help to both predict and understand glucose excursions, particularly hypoglycemia, will make diabetes safer and more comprehensible for people who inject insulin. Greater utilization of smarter CGM systems promises to allow our patients to achieve more glycemic time-in-range and to further reduce the risk of hypoglycemia,” commented Timothy Bailey, MD, the director of the AMCR Institute and a clinical associate professor at University of California, San Diego, in a company statement.

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