Leading medical devices player, Medtronic (NYSE:MDT - News) has strengthened its Diabetes portfolio with the launch of a remote glucose monitor dubbed mySentry. This first-of-its-kind technology would enable a parent or a caregiver to monitor from another room a patient’s MiniMed Paradigm Real-Time Revel System, an insulin pump with built-in continuous glucose monitoring (“CGM”).
This product could be of great help for parents, who could be alerted through an alarm in the middle of the night if their child’s glucose levels are falling. Consequently, they can take the required action to prevent an episode of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This is significant particularly for patients with type 1 diabetes, as nighttime hypoglycemia remains a big concern for the caregivers.
William Tamborlane, Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology and Deputy Director of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation considers mySentry to provide parents with added nighttime protection as they can avoid the need of waking up a couple of times every night to check their child’s blood sugar level. As per estimates, 75% of all episodes of severe hypoglycemia in children occur at night.
The last few quarters saw Medtronic reporting weaker sales from its two largest segments – defibrillators and spinal implants. The challenges witnessed in the US ICD market have also been felt across the board and impacted Medtronic’s competitors, Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX - News) and St Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ - News).
To overcome these challenges, Medtronic is trying every means to revive growth. This includes penetration of international markets, portfolio expansion, focus on high-potential segments and restructuring initiatives. These should benefit the company over the long term.
The Diabetes segment, in this case, has been a point of focus for the company and has been recording robust growth over the recent past banking on approval of key products. In November 2011, Medtronic received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for iPro2, a next generation Professional CGM system. Approval of iPro2 is significant as professional CGM is used by healthcare providers to reveal hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia (high) glucose excursions that can aggravate the condition of diabetic patients. These excursions often go unnoticed with traditional A1C tests and standard glucose meter measurements.
Medtronic currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating). We also maintain our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.
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