Memorandum

Medtronic launches MiniMed Connect for Android in US for $99 – October 24, 2016

Executive Highlights

  • Medtronic announced yesterday the US launch of MiniMed Connect for Android. The keychain uploader device for viewing pump/CGM data on a smartphone is available online for $99. The device is initially compatible with Samsung Galaxy and Note devices and LG’s G4/G5. It only works with 530G/Revel pumps and not the 630G or 670G.
  • MiniMed Connect Android edges out Dexcom’s Android G5, which is expected to launch later this year or early in 2017 (FDA filing was most recently expected in 3Q16).
  • In addition to broadening compatibility, the launch gives Medtronic and partner Samsung valuable experience as they build Android versions of the Guardian Connect mobile CGM (under FDA review) and its beta-launched Sugar.IQ app with IBM Watson.
  • A retrospective CareLink analysis (n=2,794) suggested that MiniMed Connect significantly reduces serious hypoglycemia events by 5% (>20 minutes at <50 mg/dl) and hyperglycemia events by 19% (>20 minutes at >300 mg/dl) per patient per year.

Medtronic announced yesterday the US launch of MiniMed Connect for Android. The keychain uploader device is available in Medtronic’s online store for $99, relays CGM/pump data from MiniMed 530G or Revel pumps to an Android smartphone app (via Bluetooth), and looks identical to the Apple iOS version launched in September 2015.

MiniMed Connect Android is initially compatible with Samsung Galaxy and Note devices and LG’s G4/G5 (see below). Like the Apple version, MiniMed Connect also enables remote monitoring for caregivers on any Internet-connected device (including text message notifications) and uploads the data to CareLink automatically.

MiniMed Connect Android edges out Dexcom’s Android G5, which is expected to launch later this year or early in 2017 (FDA filing was most recently expected in 3Q16). As we understand it, Android is harder to develop for than Apple’s iOS, though in Europe, Abbott’s FreeStyle LibreLink app launched with availability on Android first (NFC compatibility made that an easy decision). Medtronic’ press release notes that MiniMed Connect Android is “the first and only product enabling people with diabetes to see their real-time glucose level on Android mobile devices,” which is technically true in the US (G5 is only on iOS), but not in Europe (LibreLink).

The Android version of MiniMed Connect has been long awaited and we’re also glad to see it launching at a lower price point than the initial $199 Apple launch. As of Medtronic’s 2Q16 call, over 18,000 people were using MiniMed Connect on Apple iOS, up from 16,000+ in 1Q16.

In addition to broadening MiniMed Connect compatibility, this launch gives Medtronic valuable experience as it builds Android versions of the Guardian Connect mobile CGM (under FDA review for Apple’s iOS) and its newly beta-launched Sugar.IQ app with IBM Watson (also on Apple iOS initially). Samsung was quoted in today’s press release, a partnership first announced with Medtronic at ADA 2015 – we’re glad to see these companies launching products that can expand the market and make CGM’s benefits more accessible.

  • Importantly, both MiniMed Connect devices are NOT compatible with the newly launched MiniMed 630G (threshold suspend on the new platform) or upcoming MiniMed 670G hybrid closed loop (FDA approved in September, launching in Spring 2017). We assume Medtronic will correct this with a new 630G/670G version of MiniMed Connect or adding Bluetooth to future pumps (in the pipeline), but it presents a particular challenge near-term – remote monitoring or a better pump? We assume most Medtronic users with the option will choose the MiniMed 670G and improved Guardian CGM sensor over using MiniMed Connect with the 530G/Revel and original Enlite sensor.
  • The press release shared a retrospective CareLink analysis (n=2,794), suggesting MiniMed Connect significantly reduces serious hypoglycemia events by 5% (>20 minutes at <50 mg/dl) and hyperglycemia events by 19% (>20 minutes at >300 mg/dl) per patient per year. Two thirds of patients also experienced some improvement in time-in-range while wearing MiniMed Connect (not quantified further). Medtronic shared the actual analysis with us (see table below), which included 2,794 users with at least 60 days of data both prior and post MiniMed Connect. The company looked at all their excursion events before and after MiniMed Connect divided by their total number of days on the sensor prior and post (respectively). This data was then extrapolated out to a year. The calculation is two-time average, meaning calculation was done on patient first then averaged again into the population.
    • This data shows the power of cloud-connectivity and remote monitoring to generate evidence – are devices improving clinically important outcomes? While the hypoglycemia reduction is not nearly as impressive as the MiniMed 670G pivotal data, this does show how remote monitoring alone can improve glycemia. Of course, automation will beat human intervention on these fronts, but for those without a desire to use a pump, this is important data. We wonder what payers would think of it – do they value such reductions?

 

Without MiniMed Connect

With MiniMed Connect

Percent Difference

P-value

Number of extreme hypo events per year (>20 mins, <50 mg/dl)

43 events

41 events

4.5%

<0.001

Number of extreme hyper events per year (>20 mins, >300 mg/dl)

220 events

179 events

18.5%

<0.001

  • MiniMed Connect Android is compatible with popular Samsung Galaxy phones and some LG devices: Samsung Galaxy S5/S6/S7Samsung Galaxy S6 edge/ S7 edge, Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+, Samsung Galaxy Note 4/Note 5, LG G4/G5.
  • MiniMed connect for Android was initially expected to launch by June, though Medtronic apologized to users in May that development was more complex than initially anticipated. Today’s announcement hit the updated timing to launch by October. Samsung is the ideal partner to help on development, which makes us wonder what caused the delay.
  • There was no update on the April plans to launch MiniMed Connect globally “in the coming months and quarters.” We assume the international connectivity focus is going to be on the standalone mobile Guardian Connect CGM, which is slated to launch in the next four months (see below).
  • As a reminder, Medtronic also has a standalone, Bluetooth-enabled Guardian Connect CGM under FDA review (submitted in March), expected to launch in ~November 2016-April 2017 in the US (“second half of FY17”) – bringing competition to Dexcom’s G5 with the improved Guardian sensor. Outside the US, the product has a CE Mark and launch is expected in ~November 2016-January 2017. This will launch OUS with the current Enhanced Enlite (“Enlite 2”). This product will replace the current RF transmitter with a Bluetooth-enabled transmitter, eliminating the need for the MiniMed Connect relay device to talk to the phone. Guardian Connect is a key competitive answer to Dexcom’s G5 and Abbott’s LibreLink, plus an important Medtronic move to bring CGM into MDIs.
  • Neither the 630G nor 670G pumps include Bluetooth at this stage, though this is in Medtronic’s pipeline and key for competing with Tandem’s just-launched t:slim X2 and Insulet’s upcoming next-gen OmniPod.
  • MiniMed Connect brings competition to Dexcom’s G5 mobile CGM system, even if they are slightly different devices. The connected systems do share the same key advantages: patients seeing CGM data on the phone, caregivers getting notifications, and data automatically uploaded to data management platforms. Of course, there are some pros and cons to each: G5 cuts down the number of devices, while MiniMed Connect adds one; MiniMed Connect transfers both pump and CGM data, while Dexcom’s G5 only shares CGM data (for now); MiniMed Connect is rechargeable vs. the disposable G5 transmitter (lasts three months); and MiniMed connect can send text message notifications and enables remote monitoring from any internet-enabled device, while G5 requires the Dexcom Follow app. Still, the nuances are less important than what both products bring – greater discretion for patients, better remote monitoring for caregivers, and a better data experience for doctors. Those are all big-time wins in our book.

--by Adam Brown and Kelly Close