A Medical Device Daily

Two well-known names in diabetes management – Medtronic (Minneapolis) and Eli Lilly (Indianapolis) – have reported a marketing collaboration intended to bolster each company's commitment to help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar using insulin therapy.

Working collaboratively with health care professionals, Medtronic and Lilly marketing and sales operations in the U.S. will work to improve the delivery of diabetes education for insulin-taking patients and their caregivers. This includes the development of new educational resources and classes around the initiation and intensive management of insulin, insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).

According to the companies, the alliance combines the insulin expertise of Lilly with the advanced diabetes technologies of Medtronic, the world's largest manufacturer of insulin pumps and CGM, and maker of the world's only integrated diabetes management system that combines the power of insulin pump therapy with CGM.

"Medtronic and Lilly are joining together to help improve patient access to high-quality diabetes education," said Chris O'Connell, president of the Diabetes business unit and senior VP at Medtronic. "Because diabetes management is complicated, it is crucial that physicians and patients have the best access to information and educational resources. This collaboration will generate greater awareness and enable more people to benefit from the latest educational tools regarding insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring."

"People with diabetes have numerous treatment options and devices to help manage blood sugar, but physicians and patients need resources and solutions to integrate these improvements into real-world therapy," said Matt Beebe, Diabetes brand leader at Lilly USA. "With this alliance, Lilly and Medtronic hope to create integrated solutions to address challenges for people taking insulin who need optimal glycemic control. By joining forces, we will help make insulin therapy more achievable by offering new educational materials and resources that help make insulin pump therapy fit into patients' lives."

According to both companies, Medtronic has been well established as the leader in insulin delivery innovation since it introduced its first insulin pump in 1983, and has been improving on the technology for more than 25 years. Medtronic continued to innovate with the first CGM system approved for physician use in 1999, the first patient-use CGM in 2003 and the most advanced Web-based therapy management system in 2004, according to the company. Lilly introduced the world's first insulin for public use in 1923 and has continued to introduce advances in diabetes therapy over the next 85 years, according to the company.

In other agreements and contracts news:

• MEMSCAP (Grenoble, France/Durham, North Carolina), a provider of solutions based on MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems), and OrthoMEMS (Menlo Park, California), a device company focused on biomedical applications of patented MEMS and wireless technology from Cleveland Clinic, have signed a multi-year strategic partnership and development agreement to manufacture a MEMS sensor for the assessment and treatment of mechanical low back pain.

For MEMSCAP, the partnership is a key component of its plan to expand its manufacturing presence in the U.S. medical device sector with "revolutionary products," the company said. For OrthoMEMS, the partnership "aggressively advances the development of its breakthrough spine product all the way to market with a leading MEMS supplier to medical device companies," the company noted.

According to both companies, the combined experience and technologies of MEMSCAP and OrthoMEMS enables the development and commercialization of the OrthoChip, a miniature, battery-less, wireless pressure sensor that will provide an objective measurement of spinal disc pressures. The OrthoChip is designed to detect clear-cut pressure differences between normal and mechanically unstable spinal segments and to communicate the results telemetrically to a read-out unit. This new capability is expected to significantly alter indications for surgery and non-surgical treatments, the companies said.

• Summit Data Communications (Akron, Ohio), a provider of Wi-Fi solutions for business-critical mobile devices, said that two Phillips PageWriter cardiographs with "Summit inside" have been certified for Version 4 of Cisco Compatible Extensions (CCX). The PageWriter TC70 and PageWriter Touch cardiographs join an elite list of medical devices that bear the Cisco Compatible seal, according to Summit.

CCX is a program that tests how well Wi-Fi client devices interoperate with Wi-Fi infrastructure products from Cisco Systems. Products that pass all CCX tests earn the Cisco Compatible seal, which signifies not just interoperability but also support for Cisco Wi-Fi innovations for enhanced security, mobility, quality of service, and network management, according to the company.

Summit solutions are certified to support the Enterprise version of Wi-Fi Protected Access 2, or WPA2-Enterprise, which is equivalent to IEEE 802.11i, the ratified standard for Wi-Fi security. With WPA2-Enterprise, transmitted data is encrypted with an algorithm that is sufficient for the federal government security standard of FIPS 140-2. The WPA2-Enterprise support in Summit solutions includes support for a broad range of popular Extensible Authentication Protocol types, each of which ensures strong, mutual authentication of the client device and the network to which it is trying to connect.