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ADA 2018 Recap – Part 3: Diabetes Devices Continued

By June 28, 2018Fresh Air Blog, Tech Update

June 22-26, 2018 marked the American Diabetes Association’s 78th Scientific Sessions, taking place in Orlando Florida. Each year, the ADA conference brings together scientists, researchers, endos, clinicians, the diabetes industry and advocates to share in learning from the best of the best. Through 3000 original research presentations over 5 days, there’s a lot to absorb. We were there to learn all we could about the latest in Type 1 diabetes.

We wanted to take some time to share the things that we think you, the Type 1 community, should keep your eyes on, things we found interesting, and things that created buzz. Watch for updates in the coming days outlining the latest in drugs, devices, and education in this 4-part series.



The second update to the Tandem t:Slim X2 pump was announced at the launch of ADA. If you need a very basic primer on Tandem check out our Tech Update. Basal-IQ is Tandem’s predictive low glucose suspend. Clinical trials showed that while using the feature, people were low 31% less, without rebound high BGs!


Basal-IQ will work while using a Dexcom G6 – Remote updates in the US to make the X2 compatible with both G6 and Basal-IQ are expected in August 2018 in the USA. (FDA did approve Basal-IQ for both G5 and G6 but Tandem has prioritized launch for compatibility with G6.)

The feature works by having your pump check in every 5 minutes to learn your BGs and trends. If trends predict a low BG is approaching in the next 30 minutes, the pump will suspend. As soon as a low BG is no longer predicted, the pump will re-engage. No user confirmations needed.

This approval will make the Tandem t:slim X2 the only pump compatible with the Dexcom G6. This is something to keep in mind if you’re wanting to stay on the leading edge of ‘what’s next’ in diabetes. We don’t often see two company’s approvals come so quickly after one another!


In Canada, a timeline for Dexcom G6 approval has still not been announced. The Tandem t:slim X2 has also not yet been approved by Health Canada. It is not likely that this feature will be available as part of the first Tandem pump in Canada, but we expect to see Basal-IQ in the future.

If you are using Dexcom G5, this feature will not be available to you. When/if you update to G6, you can access the software update from Tandem (post-official launch, expected August 2018 in the USA)



Omnipod DASH is the newest update in the line of Omnipod products, having just received FDA clearance in early June. To note, it is not yet approved in Canada, but we suggest keeping an eye on how this roll out happens in the US in case you think this system might benefit you! The system was officially unveiled at ADA which meant we got to see it, first hand. To check out CIM’s Omnipod Tech Update and learn more about what is available in Canada, click here.


The new PDM (read: the thing that controls your pod) is actually built on an Android device – that means it will look and feel just like a phone. The only difference, well, it doesn’t have any functions outside of operating as a PDM so you won’t be able to send text or upload to Instagram from your PDM this time around.

The PDM will communicate to Pods via Bluetooth. This is the technology that will help some of the things that Omnipod has in the pipeline become a reality. (If you haven’t had the chance, read about the research presented on the Omnipod Horizon system at ADA, here.)

The Omnipod PDM will NOT have a built-in meter. Instead, the company has chosen the Contour Next One BG meter as its meter of choice. The meter will use Bluetooth to send BG readings directly to the PDM to be used in bolus calculating.

The system also has some associated apps to know about! Omnipod DISPLAY will let you see your PDM data on the smartphone you use on a regular basis. Cool addition – it also has a Find My PDM feature – A huge update for anyone who has stayed away from Omnipod based on the number of times you leave your phone at home or keys in the car – let alone a diabetes device!

Omnipod VIEW will let others see PDM data – Think, Family members or HCP teams. This is similar to Dexcom Follow.


If you’re already a Podder, your old Pods will not work with this new system, as the new system functions based on bluetooth. Pods look and feel exactly the same, though!

The maximum number of units you can use in your Pod is 200. This may not be a great fit if you have high insulin needs.

The new system does not feature CGM integration… yet.



The Medtronic Guardian Connect system was approved by the FDA in March and Health Canada in May. Just before ADA, it also began shipping in the US. (No shipment date known for Canada). The new system is a stand-alone CGM – another CGM option for people using Injections. One of the coolest features of the (US-approved) system is the Sugar.IQ ‘smart diabetes assistant’. Sugar.IQ has come together out of the partnership between Medtronic and IBM Watson (yes, the computer that beat all of the people on Jeopardy.)


One of the neat features of the Guardian Connect system is that it uses an iPhone as a receiver – Your own iPhone. No additional receiver needed. (Note: Android coming soon. We don’t know how soon is soon.)

The sensor looks and feels similar to the Enlite sensor that has been available for some time from Medtronic. The sensor is called the Guardian Sensor 3.

If you’re in the US, you’ll want to know about Sugar.IQ. The function works by analysing the data you input to predict future outcomes of your BGs. You can totally personalize your alarms and alerts however you’d like. For example, if you’ve eaten and logged a bagel, the next time you eat that bagel, the system will look back at previous trends, analyse current information in the system (IOB, etc) and make a prediction of where you’re headed.


The Guardian Sensor 3 is approved for 7-days of wear. You’ll be looking at changing your sensor once per week.

The Sugar.IQ program is not compatible with any insulin pump. It is totally a stand alone system. If you are using Sugar.IQ via Guardian Connect, you will not be able to use the sensor-specific features on your 630g or 670g.

Sugar.IQ is not available in Canada as of yet. We’re digging into details about what we have to look forward to north of the border!


In Part 4 of this series, we’ll share highlights from the latest in diabetes education. From exercise to apps to DIY approaches: stay tuned!

Disclaimer: Please check out CIM’s Partners Page to learn more about the companies we work with. This post was not paid for and does not represent sponsored content, but it’s important to recognize that we may be biased based on the fact that some companies highlighted below support CIM in different ways. We still thought this info was important for you to know about.