Verily head Andy Conrad implied G7 would launch with built-in accelerometer for activity tracking; Dexcom clarifies that has not been finalized
Earlier this week, Verily made its debut at JPM, appearing to confirm, for the first time, that the next-gen Dexcom/Verily G7 would contain a built-in accelerometer. The accelerometer would enable activity tracking, like a Fitbit or Apple Watch, allowing users to see activity data side by side with glucose data.
It was not news to Close Concerns that the G7 may have an accelerometer – we published a piece in May, 2018 called “Verily obtains patent for disposable glucose sensor including activity sensor – might Dexcom-Verily include it in gen two?”
To clarify, it is not certain that the built-in accelerometer will be part of G7 or any CGM. At JPM earlier this week, we qualified Verily head Dr. Andy Conrad’s statement, noting that he could have been referring to a pre-commercial version of G7 that will not be launched – he could also be refering to a future version. This morning, STAT published an article stating that Dexcom was not “certain the accelerometer will make it into the version of the device slated to launch at year’s end.” It sounds like Dexcom and Verily may have created two versions of G7, one with an accelerometer and one without. It is hard to know, but we certainly did not mean to imply this was a “done deal” as our earlier coverage may have implied; Verily’s communications team was quoted in the STAT piece emphasizing that the accelerometer is a “feature in the G7” and that “there’s more that needs to be worked out before it can be turned on.”
Dexcom’s Senior PR Manager James McIntosh was quoted saying that “[Verily’s people] have been great partners and it would be misleading to portray the partnership in any other way.” To date, the partnership between Dexcom and Verily has been an incredibly fruitful partnerships we’ve between a medical device company and “big tech” company and we certainly do not have any changed opinion. While some may paint this communication as a sign of friction between the cultures of big tech and traditional medical device manufacturers, these sorts of issues seem likely to happen in any sort of partnership where both parties are moving quickly and purposefully toward an innovative product.
Here is Dr. Conrad’s quote from JPM: “Lastly, the G7 – I don’t know if [Dexcom CEO Kevin Sayer] already talked about this - is that we put an accelerometer in the G7. All of a sudden, they can see a trace of their blood glucose and how much activity they did, what they were eating, the medicines they were taking, and the effect it had on this integrator called hemoglobin A1c.”
Note: Dr. Conrad said this when talking about Onduo, which allows patients to log meals and medications.
In hindsight, we assumed that even though Dr. Conrad said that he was not certain if Mr. Sayer disclosed this information, Dr. Conrad himself would not disclose it if he had not been given the go-ahead. But actually, according to STAT, this may not have been the case.
--by Albert Cai and Kelly Close