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Francine Kaufman Part 5, The Future For Medtronic

In part 5 of this Exclusive Interview, Dr. Francine Kaufman talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the ADA meeting in San Diego, California, about Medtronic’s continued work on products for both type 1 and type 2 patients.

Dr. Francine Kaufman was named Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Global Medical, Clinical and Health Affairs in April 2009. In this role, Dr. Kaufman is the key architect of the company’s global diabetes strategy, as well as a leading voice for multidisciplinary medical strategy across Medtronic.

Transcript of this video segment:

Steve: We’ve gone to the moon, you guys sit around a table saying what are we going to do for the future of Medtronic. What kind of ideas have you discussed and where’s Medtronic going?

Dr. Kaufman: I think we haven’t solved all the problems of diabetes. This is pretty much a type 1 solution at this point and this is just the first step. We’ve got the next generation already on the drawing board. They’re very excited to team with the DreaMed group, with their fuzzy logic. So, the next generation algorithm will be, if you’d like it to be, a little bit more aggressive. So, we are excited about that, more automatic bolusing so that the patient is going to be asked to do less and less, and the device will do more and more. We are looking at the use with ultra-rapid-acting insulin to see how far that gets us down the line of not having to inform about an upcoming meal. So very excited about that pathway. I think we’re real clear we’re going to be working with the patient community a lot more than we ever have and we have all along this development pathway, so that we are sure we get the voice of what the patient really wants. Now, that’s for type 1, and at some point, we’ll have to see what the in-hospital solution is around automating insulin delivery as well. But for type 2 and kind of a services-and-solutions, we’re doing a lot. We have now three business units inside the overall diabetes umbrella. Our intensive insulin management that has the closed-loop device, our non-intensive for type 2, so we’re working on a disposable retrospective or professional CGM that will take no calibration at all. Very excited about offering that the patients. It will be attached to a decision-support algorithm that we think will make a big difference for providers, particular primary care providers who are giving most of the care. Then on the diabetes services and solutions, we’re looking to give a lot more solutions through what we’re releasing very soon – we just released in Europe, hopefully in the U.S. pretty soon – a stand-alone sensor and straight to the cell phone. Along with it you’ll be able to get an app that we’ve been collaborating with IBM to have advanced analytics, really big data learning, machine learning, so that patients can start to understand their patterns and trends; see where there might be a problem with their overall management, including a big nutritional component if that’s what they’d like. We’re looking at other solutions like Canary Health for the prediabetes space. We’re looking at clinics in the Netherlands that were very involved in delivering care. So, we’re really, I think, expanding our portfolio to meet the needs of the different populations of diabetes.

Steve: I understand that Dexcom is a competitor of the sensors. They announced, I think they’ve already done it, they’re working with Apple so that the reading shows up on the Apple watch, and you had just mentioned that. How far away are you from that?

Dr. Kaufman: Well, we’ve got lots of partners, and some are very tied relationships, some are a looser. I think the kind of consumer-based companies are very interested in getting in the diabetes space. We’re talking to quite a number of them, IBM, Samsung, a lot of different opportunities, and we’ll look to partner with whoever can help us make a difference for people with diabetes.

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