Anticipation just keeps growing for the new Omnipod system, still waiting for FDA approval. This week, we talk to Dr. Trang Ly, Senior Vice President & Medical Director at Insulet Corporation. We’ll get an in-depth run through of the features of Omnipod 5 with Horizon, what makes it different from the other hybrid closed loops already on the market, and many other questions you all had.
Our previous interview with Insulet CEO Shacey Petrovic
This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.
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Episode Transcription Below
Stacey Simms 0:00
Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dario health manage your blood glucose levels increase your possibilities by Gvoke Hypopen the first premixed auto injector for very low blood sugar, and by Dexcom take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom.
This is Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.
Stacey Simms 0:26
This week anticipation growing for the new Omnipod 5 system still waiting for FDA approval. Many of the people behind it have waited a long time to knowing the promise of closed loop systems for people with diabetes and their families.
Dr. Trang Ly 0:42
I still remember the very first time the very first patient that I put the system on and, and I was watching that insulin being delivered. And I remember just like hugging the participants, Mom, because we just both knew how incredible this was going to be if, if this could reach masses of people.
Stacey Simms 1:04
That’s Dr. Trang Ly, Senior Vice President and medical director at insulin Corporation, we’ll get an in depth run through of the features of Omnipod 5 with horizon. What makes it different from the other hybrid closed loops already on the market and many other questions you all sent in.
This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.
Welcome to another week of the show. You know I’m always so glad to have you here. We aim to educate and inspire about diabetes with a focus on people who use insulin. As you listen to this particular episode couple of things to keep in mind, Omnipod 5 with Horizon the full name of the system we are talking about today is not out yet it is not commercially available as of this taping. This episode is live on August 3 2021. The FDA is still mulling it over. If you are looking for even more information and some of the history of this, it may be worth going back to our first episode about this system that was almost exactly two years ago with the company CEO Shacey Petrovic. And I will link that interview up in the show notes at Diabetes connections.com
COVID, really through this submission for a loop with the delays. And I didn’t mean upon there with the word loop. But I know there has been frustration in the community. And there’s frustration with an Insulet as well. But it really is close. Now, if you are not familiar and I know we have a lot of new listeners who’ve joined the show more recently. I know some of you have been hearing about this for years. But bear with me for just a moment as I explain it very quickly. You’ve got your Omnipod pod. That’s the thing that holds and infuses the insulin, it’s an all in one. It sits on the body, there’s no buttons, there’s no display, there’s nothing to read, you’ve got your separate handheld controller, the thing with the display on it and the buttons are the touchscreen of how you actually control the pod when it comes to giving insulin for meals or for correction doses, that sort of thing. And for Omnipod five with horizon, you also have the Dexcom G6, the continuous glucose monitor, the pod and the CGM work together to give less or give more insulin to try to keep you in range. Now that is very, very simple. But Dr. Ly will explain it in much better detail. And I will also link up more information as always in the show notes. If you haven’t ever seen what this looks like if you’re curious, we’ll link you up to all of the information.
Dr. Trang Ly, my guest is the Senior Vice President and medical director at Insulet. Corporation, she leads their Omnipod five automated insulin delivery system clinical program before her time at Insulet. Dr. Ly was a pediatric endocrinologist in Australia. And toward the end of the interview, we talk about how personally knowing families that will benefit from this system and systems like it, you know what that is like for her.
So my interview with Dr. Ly in just a moment, but first Diabetes Connections is brought to you buy Daario health and over the years, I finally managed diabetes better when we’re thinking less about all the stuff of diabetes tasks, and that’s why I love partnering with people who take the load off on things like ordering supplies, so I can really focus on Benny, the Dario diabetes success plan is all about you all the strips and lancets you need delivered to your door, one on one coaching so you can meet your milestones, weekly insights into your trends with suggestions on how to succeed get the diabetes management plan that works with you and for you, Dario is published Studies demonstrate high impact clinical results, find out more go to my dario.com forward slash diabetes dash connections.
Dr. Ly, thank you so much for spending some time with me. My listeners are very excited to get all the information that they can about this. So thanks for being with me today.
Dr. Trang Ly 4:58
Yeah, great to be program. Thanks, Stacey
Stacey Simms 5:01
you got it. Let’s start with an overview. I know that most people listening are probably very familiar with what we think Omnipod 5 with horizon will be. But can you start by just giving us an update and taking us through what is in front of the FDA for approval as you and I are speaking today?
Dr. Trang Ly 5:17
Yeah, so happy to do so the Omnipod five system that you’re referring to is Omnipod, or Insulet, first automated insulin delivery system. So this system, he has previously known as horizon or the Omnipod, five algorithm on the pod itself. And it talks directly with the ICGM, which is the Dexcom G6 sensor, and also has a separate controller device as well to be able to remotely deliver boluses and stop and start automated mode, the system that some kind of FDA just requires you to wear a pod and a CGM to stay in automated delivery, because the algorithm is on the pod itself. And I think that is the key feature of the Omnipod five system,
Stacey Simms 6:14
a lot to break down there. And we’ll get to each of the components. But let’s start there with the kind of the brains of the operation being on the pod. What does that mean, in a practical sense when someone is wearing the system that they don’t have to worry about it stopping that sort of thing?
Dr. Trang Ly 6:27
Yeah. So the The key difference between previous products is that with our current Omnipod dash and earlier versions of Omnipod, the pod delivers the basil programs and the bolus delivery that the user has initiated. And so insulin is not under automated delivery. But in our future system with Omnipod. Five watch the pod does is that takes the CGM value which you wear on body and so that value directly communicate with the pod itself. And then the system and the algorithm on the pod takes that CGM value and determines how much insulin you need every five minutes. If you’re running high, and you need a little bit more influence, the pod will automatically increase insulin delivery. And if you’re at your target or dropping low, it will augment insulin delivery, so it might suspend or it might reduce the insulin that you need. That is the key difference between the product that is available today. And the future with Omnipod. Five,
Stacey Simms 7:38
you would still use the PDM or the phone and we’ll get to that to give yourself a meal bolus or a correction bolus.
Dr. Trang Ly 7:47
That’s right. For those instances where you’re about to have a meal. Or if you’re running high for whatever reason, like you underestimated carbs earlier, and you want to give a manual bolus, you can do that any time. And you would do that by using the controller device or PDM, to enter in your carbs, and use our bolus calculator to deliver that insulin. So all of those features are very similar to the current production on the pod dash, which again, is very similar to our earlier version. So that’s on the pod.
Stacey Simms 8:24
Let’s talk about the algorithm a little bit. I know there’s a lot that’s proprietary here. But I’m curious, we’ve seen over the last couple of years, Medtronic come out with a you know, an automated device. Tandem has control IQ, I believe my listeners are pretty familiar with the workings of those, what would be the biggest differences between how those systems work and how Omnipod 5 with horizon will work.
Dr. Trang Ly 8:49
I’m very familiar with those algorithms. Because I, you know, in my previous life, I worked very quickly with those systems as they were being developed. And so I say, you know, having been in this role for the last five years and been running the clinical trials. For them, I can tell you that the main difference I’d say would be that our algorithm, you can set the target glucose for whatever time of day. And the range we have is between 110 to 150, in 10 milligram per deciliter increments. And you might have a family where you want to go overnight, you want to run out and 20 because you feel more comfortable at 120 overnight, and then but during the day you want to run at 110 you can set up a profile so that the algorithm augments insulin delivery to your preferred target glucose level. And, you know, we we knew when we were coming to market that we were not going we certainly weren’t the first and not the second product market. So we knew that we had to deliver a level of personalization for our users. So we really listened to what people wanted. And people do want that level of personalization and customization. And so we implemented that design feature into our clinical trial to demonstrate that our system performs very safely across those different target glucose level. Until our clinical studies which show we’ll get into Dude, what was tested across a very wide range of patients, for initially, we did a beam study, which was for patients aged six to 70 years of age. And then most recently, just a couple weeks ago, we were reported on our preschool age participants who were between two to six years of age, and they see I’m sure you’ll appreciate that they’re young. glucose control is just very variable, very unpredictable. And, you know, I think strength of our algorithm is that it works very well, even if you, you know, Miss or skip a bolus, occasionally, you know, that algorithm is going to kick in, it’s going to deliver, you know, a decent amount of insulin to get you back in range, it’s going to happen immediately, but it’s calling to do its best to keep you in the range as much as possible. And similar, I’d say to the other systems, especially, I’d say more second generation systems is that we are getting, you know, excellent timing range, especially in the overnight period.
Stacey Simms 11:32
It was I laughed a little when you said preschool, as you know, My son was diagnosed before he was two. And whenever I see studies with little kids that work so well, it’s so exciting, because you know, that age group, they can’t even tell you when they’re feeling weird. They can’t stomach my son couldn’t even pronounce the word diabetes. So it’s a different age group altogether. So I was thrilled to see those results.
Dr. Trang Ly 11:53
I know, well, I have two kids under five right now, and they don’t have diabetes. And I have no idea how much they’re going to ace or whether or not you know how much activity they’re going to do. And I just can’t even fathom how challenging it would be to have a child with diabetes. And are they low? Or are they or as I just grumpy? asleep,
Stacey Simms 12:18
I didn’t have enough. Oh, my goodness, I should have said this towards the beginning. And I know, I know Dr. Like that, you know, this, we use control IQ. We’re very happy with the Tandem, but we’re not rooting for any system here. I think that the and I say we I mean me, I it’s so exciting to see all of these systems beginning to come to market beginning to really have an impact to have differences in their algorithms so that people can pick and choose exactly what they want. And we’re just at the beginning of it. So I am so excited to see the study’s going so well, I have a couple of questions about what you’ve already mentioned, on that target of 110 to 150, just to be crystal clear about it, you’re talking about not just putting the pump into say using Tandem, for example, exercise mode or sleep mode, you’re seeing in you know, my weekday profile, for example, I know my son plays basketball every day from three to seven so we’re going to create a profile that changes his blood glucose target for that period of time, perhaps starting you know, before he plays a little bit and then extending after and that’s an actual profile in the pump that you then could change. Okay, perfect. All right, that’s really interesting. Is there an Is there a and I hate to use Tandem is word sorry, is there an exercise mode or a sleep mode? Or is it just the user sets it as they want?
Right back to Dr. Ly answering that question. But first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by tchibo hypo pin and you know, low blood sugar feels horrible. You can get shaky and sweaty or even feel like you’re gonna pass out there are a lot of symptoms and they can be different for everyone. I’m so glad we have a different option to treat very low blood sugar Jeeva hypo pen, it’s the first auto injector to treat very low blood sugar chivo Kibo pen is premixed and are ready to go with no visible needle before Jeeva people needed to go through a lot of steps to get glucagon treatments ready to be used. This made emergency situations even more challenging and stressful. This is so much better. I’m grateful we have it on hand find out more go to Diabetes connections.com and click on the G book logo g book shouldn’t be used in patients with pheochromocytoma or insulinoma visit Jeeva glucagon comm slash risk. Now back to Dr. Ly. Going into more detail about how the Omnipod 5with horizon system works.
Dr. Trang Ly 14:36
Separate but yes, what you describe is exactly how our product works or during the day. It might be that you want your son to run out 110 through the day but maybe between the hours of three and seven you’d run at 140 that is an option. And you can set that up pre programmed so that he doesn’t have to remember to do that every day or you can run in what we call a hyper protect mode, which is work similarly to like attempt days or that you you’ll be familiar with. So that’s more of an ad hoc, oh, I feel like exercising for the next two hours, I’m going to set my program in hyper protect mode. And hyper protect, what the system does is it adjusts your target glucose to 150. And it actually gives you less insulin than your basal insulin. So you’re running essentially with less insulin on board than you would normally would during that period. And so we we did a lot of studies to kind of land on that design. And we feel that he does a good job of preventing hyperglycemia for, for people without problems asked afterwards. So it has worked well, because it doesn’t, you know, sometimes, when you’re preparing for exercise, you might take a snack, and that drives your blood glucose up. And then if you have a really robust algorithm that might kick in and give you a fair amount of insulin. So that’s what we were trying to avoid with our design was that not just that the setpoint is elevated, but also that the system can’t give too much insulin during that time. So that’s sort of our equivalent exercise mode. We don’t have anything called sleep mode. But as I said, our set point of 110, you know, once were created will be the lowest available in the United States.
Stacey Simms 16:30
One of the things I’ve learned recently, and I I feel like I haven’t seen this reported very widely, is that, unlike Tandem control IQ, the Omnipod system, the Omnipod, five with horizon, learns the user it changes, it has a little bit of I guess I call it artificial intelligence. Is that correct? And can you walk me through what I’m saying? What I mean by that? Yeah.
Dr. Trang Ly 16:56
Yes, yeah, I think I think you’re I’m getting to a really key difference between our, our system and others. So with, with our system, when we, when we were developing it, we wanted to reduce the work that comes with diabetes, as well. And so you know, a lot of the work that comes with that is adjusting those or rate adjusting, you know, all the settings and things like that. And so our system, initially, when you, when you have it out of the box, it does rely on your basal rate to start off, automated insulin delivery. But over time, the system learns through the turtle Gary informed that is delivered by the system. So the system knows about this, and can rely on this information, because it’s reliable come through the system to augment insulin delivery. So you might have a small child who only has 10 units of insulin per day. Now system is not going to give too much insulin, based upon the fact that it knows that in the last few days, it’s never given more than 10 units a day. And so the safety constraints are personalized for that user. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, know, we have users that use 100 units a day. And in that case, the algorithm knows that it can give a lot more insulin, and this person will tolerate it quite fine. Because you know, when you have insulin is unlikely to make much difference for this person who takes 100 units a day. And so as it accrues that information over time, the algorithm does adapt the ability to know how much insulin it delivers based on that information. So what it means is that, in order to get the results we got, you know, you’re not having to tweak basil rates on an hourly basis. Sometimes I’ve seen, you know, people have different basil rates every hour. And what we’re really striving to do here at Insulet is create products that reduce burden for people. And that includes including, you know, optimizing settings, so that people can get, you know, so that everybody can get good glucose control and, and not have to rely on perhaps educators and clinicians at the academic centers who are familiar with these devices to really get those good results.
Stacey Simms 19:38
So I’m just trying to understand the the automatic adjustment that you’re talking about there based on the total daily insulin. So if after a few weeks of using Omnipod five with Horizon, a person should expect to not adjust basil rates should like what should they be seeing because if like let’s say as someone has six different basil, right When they start on the system, what what’s happening? Right? What’s going on? Are they Is it like the other systems where it’s adjusting every five minutes, it’s giving you boluses. If needed you How is the smartness of the of the pump working there?
Dr. Trang Ly 20:12
Yes, if you had six different rates running for 24 hours, initially, the algorithm would take that information and would have bent in front of every every five minutes based upon the inputs that were provided to the system, as well as how your CGM is tracking how much insulin on board, you have all of those things. So at all times, the system makes a influence decision every five minutes. So that occurs, as soon as you put the system into automated mode. That happens all the time. And when people ask me about order corrections, I say, yes, this system automates and make some adjustments every five minutes to drive you towards your target glucose. So corrections are incorporated within the system, we don’t consider any difference between basil modulation and what was modulation of insulin is insulin. So every five minutes, you’re getting a essentially order correction if you need it. But that works very similarly to, you know, the systems that are currently on the market. And over time, the those six basil programs that you have really not utilized in the system at all beyond that first part. And so if you are running high for whatever reason, and you know, you you tweak other things, but not your basal rate. And so I’d say in in that way, you know, our system is more similar to the Medtronic system. And in that way that the basil rates do not directly inform automated insulin delivery. But things that are still under your control at all times is influence coverage, share your correction factor, target glucose, correct above all those settings that have always been within on the pod, and also very similar across many bolus calculators all stay the same. So you’re always going to be sort of always going to be directly in control of all those fat. And so if you’re running high, it might might be that you need more corrections over time before your system adjusts to that higher insulin requirement. But
Stacey Simms 22:34
you’re in control, oh, wait, target number, but only only down to 110? That’s right. Gosh, I have so many questions with the automated systems. I think you mentioned this, but I’m not sure. What about insulin duration, is that something that the user can change? Or is that something that is set,
Dr. Trang Ly 22:50
so there, so the Dow system, the user can change that, and how it manifests itself is that it will inform the duration of insulin action for all those manual boluses that you deliver. So if you’re someone who’s very sensitive to insulin, and it hangs around for a really long time in your body, and you have a six hour early insulin action, then you can program that until you know your bolus of insulin that you deliver at 6am in the morning, that’s going to take till midday before it disappears from the system, as it knows that all of those will still be accounted in the same way with the duration of insulin action that you provide to the system. In terms of the automated insulin delivery, we have the intellects, proprietary duration of insulin delivery, that is the input to the insulin model from which we deliver that insulin that is consistent, and is just one value. And it’s the same value and the algorithm that’s been tested across the board from in all of our clinical trials. So that does not change, and is within the algorithm that dictates that five minutes away insulin delivery.
Stacey Simms 24:11
To me, that was one of the big surprises of using an automated system. We have, you know, My son is 16. And we started using an automated system when he was what 14. So you’re in the middle of those fabulous teenage years, and he’s using tons and tons of insulin. And it seemed to me that we needed an insulin duration of like two to three hours. And when they switched it on Tandem. It’s it’s five, I really fought on that thinking this is going to be a disaster, and it was fine. It worked really well. So it’s one of those interesting things once you get an automated system and realize this is my opinion, once you realize how much work you were doing to try to stay in range. It’s kind of nice to let that system take over once you trust it. And I would assume that that’s what you found in these studies. I mean, you mentioned that people spent more time in range, but let me give you the floor. Take a minute or two to talk about. I’ve seen the study You know, you’ve been kind of putting them out with different age groups over the last couple of weeks and months, take a moment to brag about the studies.
Dr. Trang Ly 25:08
Yeah, we’re so grateful to the diabetes community who really gave this product life through our clinical studies. So I’m just deeply grateful for every patient and family who took part in it. Because without them, you know, be a product, but it wouldn’t be Omnipod. Five. And so it was really a ton of work that we I feel like has been many years in the making. Yeah, we’ve worked really hard on this algorithm to get it pretty much as good as it could be. And, you know, back in 2019, as we were preparing to do these clinical studies, I really wasn’t sure about how our results would stack up. But I have to say that I’m completely blown away by how well our algorithm has performed. So in the talk first about our six to 70 year old age group. So the first lot of results that came out came out in March of this year, we had essentially two groups. So we had the children, which were six to 14 years of age, and then the 14 to 17 years of age, which is the adolescent and adult group. So I was just covered the adult group there. So we saw and time in range improvement to 74% in the adult Group, a once the reduction down to 6.8%. And then very minimal hyperglycemia. If you look at our hypo compared to other published data out there, it’s the lowest hypo, which we measured by time under 70, compared to all the other groups. And in terms of the children, there’s six to 13.9 years of age group, we got to a timing range of 68%. And this was equivalent to 3.7 hours per day improvement. So really remarkable improvement in timing range. And in terms of a one see improvement, we got that down from 7.7%, down to 6.99%. So really remarkable reduction in a one C. And what’s super, super exciting is that just recently at Ada to see or wishes a couple of weeks ago, we showed that in the extension faces after the main three month pivotal study, everyone could continue using it if they chose to. And we saw a further reduction in a one C, which is just incredible. So in both the adults and children, we saw a continued decline in a one C. So just really super exciting to see that, you know, our product continues to be helpful for these patients with diabetes.
Stacey Simms 28:05
Let’s talk a little bit about the the setup of the system. You know, when in the very beginning of the interview, I asked you to kind of describe it. And it’s Omnipod Dexcom, G6, and then a controller of some kind. Let’s talk about the controller. Last I had heard this was going to be the PDM. If needed, the more traditional I guess you’d call it but you’ll expLyn it to me or an Android phone. Tell me about the controller in the short term. And then we can talk about what you’re planning.
Dr. Trang Ly 28:32
Yeah, that’s right. So we will have the controller device. So we have an Insulet provided controller, which our were choosing to use that word over PDM. Because not everyone knows what a PDM is that yes, that controller device, we will always ship with our product. And so you will be able to use that in a locked down device which can only communicate with pods and can’t really do much else with it. And but users will have the option to download an app from their from selected android phone to also have that same experience. So it’s the exact same app that would be that would exist on the controller. And you would be able to essentially control your parts and replace that controller with the Android app.
Stacey Simms 29:25
I should have said the PDM stands for what personal diabetes manager. That’s right. Okay. So that’s an antiquated term now, though, so we’ll put that aside. But to be clear, so if I have the right Android phone, you’re seeing this is not a lockdown Android phone, I can get this the app and I can use my personal phone to control my Omnipod five with horizon system.
Dr. Trang Ly 29:47
Yes, that’s right. That’s what’s currently in front of FDA right now.
Stacey Simms 29:51
Do you know and again, if it’s up to them, or you can say I know we’re limited sometimes what models or is there a list somewhere?
Dr. Trang Ly 29:57
Yeah, we haven’t. I don’t think We have indicators or phone models that will be available at any time. But we’ll do that soon after launch will list those out that they will be as the first offering selected Android phones.
Stacey Simms 30:14
And I would assume the plan is to eventually go to all types of phones, including apple. That’s right. My question for Omnipod is always what I’m about to ask you. But phone control makes it a little bit obsolete. And that is why no button on the pod why not even like a one dose one unit or something on the pod?
Dr. Trang Ly 30:34
I’ve been asking this, since I’ve had the podcast. Yeah, I think he just originated with the original design. And I think perhaps, because it really started originally with the idea of children using our device, and having that separate controller to track all the information. I think just at that time, because it was primarily a product for children, we wanted to make sure that infant delivery was always, you know, very intentional, and not unintentional. And so would always to have that remote control potential and and not have any, you know, button on the pod, which could lead to accidental or insulin deliveries, unintended,
Stacey Simms 31:21
or just a couple of laundry list type questions. Dexcom has already announced that they’re going to seek FDA approval for the g7. Soon, I would assume that Omnipod will eventually, you know, work with the g7, which should users should be concerned at all about that kind of compatibility?
Dr. Trang Ly 31:38
Yeah, I think eventually, you can expect that, you know, systems that are integrated with G6 Today, we’ll be working towards g seven in future. You know, I think the whole idea of interoperability reach was beheaded by the FDA really enables companies to work faster to integrate with future versions of systems. So you know, we we want to be at the leading edge of that innovation. And I think that will come with time. We I don’t think we’ve announced any times or dates regarding that. But it is something that, you know, we fully intend to support.
Stacey Simms 32:17
And this may be another business type question. But everyone who’s using Omnipod right now, what’s the plan for current customers? We’re getting ahead of ourselves, I know the system’s not approved. But can people using arrow so dash expect to kind of be seamlessly switched over to Omnipod? Five with horizon?
Dr. Trang Ly 32:35
Yeah, I don’t think we have released all the information regarding how we’re going to transition our current customers. Yes, I don’t think that that is publicly available yet. But we, you know, one thing we do strongly believe in is supporting our current customers. And what we have said is that Omnipod five will be available via the pharmacy channel at price parity kadesh. And so what that means that if you are already receiving cash today that you’re going to be in a very good position to have coverage for Omnipod. fi. And but we haven’t detailed the information regarding you know, how we’re specifically transitioning every single patient at this, at this point,
Stacey Simms 33:25
separately from the pod. tide pool loop is also in front of the FDA, as you and I are speaking, I’m not even quite sure really what to ask you about this doctor, like because I know it’s coming from tide pool. But can you share anything about the relationship from Omnipod to Tandem? And how the loop project is going? It’s kind of a it’s a different animal kind of out there. But I don’t want to leave without asking you about it.
Dr. Trang Ly 33:51
Yeah, you just said Omnipod to Tandem, but I’m
Stacey Simms 33:54
so sorry. Yes.
Dr. Trang Ly 33:58
Yes, yeah. Well, that is title program. So it’s best that you speak to Howard about that. But it is a program that we support. And and we certainly, you know, believe in interoperability and supporting points for our users. And yes, you’re right. I believe the last update is that it is currently under review with FDA wouldn’t use the dash parts, or does it use it with Omnipod? Five. So it’s, it’s not it’s not going to be backwards compatible with dash pod
Stacey Simms 34:35
guidance. My next question was, so if Omnipod five with horizon is approved, Omnipod is manufacturing the same pods for both systems. That’s right. I know you know, I’m not sure we’re supposed to talk about it. But I know you know, because you’ve spoken to the loopers groups and you speak to people all the time that there’s a bunch of people using the older pods, the arrows, pods, I believe for a nod FDA approved system, they’re looping with the separate from title loop, they’re looping with those pods is only going to keep making those pods once this new system is approved,
Dr. Trang Ly 35:10
we haven’t said exactly when we will stop making those pods. But I think the community should expect which and I know that they already do that at some point in time in the near future, we would need to stop making those pods. And that’s for a variety of reasons. But as you will know, Stacy, and many of your audience will know, you know, that is much older technology. And you know, we prioritize innovation that is going to work well and be safe for our users. You know, that’s partly why we moved to dash to integrate Bluetooth technology. And then which has enabled us with Omnipod, five to talk via Bluetooth to CGM. So that type of safe integration is really important to us in our future offerings of product. And so at some point in time, that will, we will need to start making that and also, you know, that is with all the technology, all the components, and etc. So, once that happens, though, we will let the community know with sufficient time so that people can prepare for alternative methods of therapy. And hopefully that will be Omnipod. Five,
Stacey Simms 36:25
you’ve been so generous with your time, I just have a couple of more questions. I really appreciate it. One of the questions that was asked in the podcast Facebook group was when approved, how will the training for this go? In other words, with control IQ, I sat down, I took a course I took a quiz. And once I passed it, my doctor had written a prescription. And we got the downloadable, you know, into the pump. And we were off and running did not meet with a diabetes educator or an endocrinologist to learn how to use control IQ. What will the system be for teaching people and getting Omnipod? Five to them?
Dr. Trang Ly 36:58
Yeah, so for people who are already using Omnipod dash, you can expect that the experience will be similar to what you just described for control IQ. So you will not have to meet someone in person in order for you to start that system up. So it will be similar in a training quiz, number of steps. But you can do it all self directed and be often running on Omnipod. Five, or you can choose to speak to someone or meet in person with an educator if you wanted more information about for instance, how the algorithm works or whatever question you had on your mind. But for brand new users who’ve never used a pump before, then it will there will always be in person training, or virtual training. You know, there’s some things that you we still feel that is necessary to cover, you know, basics of pump therapy that will require meeting with their certified trainer to go through. But yes, we’re current on the Pog dashes as you can expect the transition to be fairly seamless.
Stacey Simms 38:08
Another question that came up was about insurance coverage, but particularly Medicare. Can you speak to that? Yeah. So
Dr. Trang Ly 38:15
currently, we have Medicare coverage under Part D, which allows for pharmacy coverage of the pod. So we do have that. And they only came in recently in the last I’d say three years or so. So once that came through CMS, we worked with many plans to get Omnipod covered under that peptides for Medicare. So one of the things that, you know, we’re working on well, FDA clearances, is still under review, we are working on making sure that we get as many people covered as possible. When Lord, they come. So yeah, it’s a major priority for us to make sure that our patients get covered for this product.
Stacey Simms 39:06
You referred back a couple times to your days as a pediatric endocrinologist. How exciting is this for you? You know, the people that use this product, you know, the people that use other automated pumps. Can you speak a little bit just from your personal side about the excitement because you know, this is going to help people?
Dr. Trang Ly 39:25
Yeah, it’s just incredibly exciting. And maybe not everyone knows about this. But yes, Stacy, as you mentioned, I am a pediatric endocrinologist. And it’s actually about 10 years ago now, but I did my very first study in automated insulin delivery and that was back in Perth in Western Australia. And in that study, we use a Medtronic pump add to Medtronic sensors and a blackberry phone and the algorithm was on a blackberry phone and it was I haven’t mentioned this to many people. But those those sensors were, you know, were challenging at times to deliver insulin from. But it was such important studies, in terms of proof of concept to show that, you know, we could augment insulin delivery and, and making that decision every five minutes gets you in better glucose control. And it was really extraordinary. And I still remember the very first time, the very first patient that I put the system on, and, you know, and I was watching that insulin being delivered. And I remember just like hugging the participants, Mom, because, you know, we just both knew how incredible this was going to be if, if this could reach masses of people, it’s always been for me, something that will be realized. And, you know, it has been through really great products like control IQ. And you know, soon Omnipod five will be out with a great algorithm. And because we just know that this type of technology is what is going to allow parents to sleep at night and let people be comfortable with their diabetes and be more confident about it so that they can focus their brains on other life decisions and not be so consumed by their diabetes. And so it is really incredible for me to be able to see the results of our algorithm just works so well in such a huge population of patients, even in just in clinical trials today. And I just know that there’s going to be incredible impact from this product in future when we launched.
Stacey Simms 41:47
Well, thank you so much for coming on and sharing so much information. We’re all excited to see what happens next. And I hope that you are you know, other folks or Insulet will come on and share more information, you know, fingers crossed as the rollout happens. So thanks so much for joining me.
Dr. Trang Ly 42:02
Thank you so much. So happy to be on.
You’re listening to Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.
Stacey Simms 42:15
Lots more information at Diabetes connections.com. I know the one question everybody asks that we cannot answer is when will this be available, it will be available when the FDA approves it. And you know, that could come any minute it could come in a few months, you know, we are not privy to that information. But once it is available, it will take a little while to roll out. So Omnipod I’m sure we’ll make a lot more information available as we move forward. We’ll talk to them again. And we will answer as many questions as possible. Also got a lot of questions about insurers, that’s going to depend as well, quite often, insurers will not initially cover new products. I know Omnipod is talking with everybody. But it may take a little bit of time. So we’ll circle back on all of that it is difficult to pick and choose the listener questions that I asked but I really try to focus on what I know the person that I’m talking to can answer and I thought Dr. Ly was was really fabulous and spoke to me frankly, for longer than I expected. So I really appreciate her sharing so much information with us. And I hope you found that helpful.
All right. Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dexcom. And I do want to talk for a moment about control IQ. You heard me mention that several times during the interview. That is the Dexcom G6 Tandem pump software integration. When it comes to Benny’s numbers, you know, I hardly expect perfection I want I’m happy I’m healthy. I have to say control IQ has exceeded my expectations, Vinny is able to do less checking and bolusing and is spending more time in range. His last couple of Awan C’s were his lowest ever and this isn’t a teenager, the time when I was really prepared for him to be struggling. His sleep is better to with basil adjustments possible every five minutes, the system is working hard to keep them in range. And that means we hear far fewer Dexcom alerts, which means everybody’s sleeping better. I’m really so grateful for this. Of course individual results may vary. To learn more, go to Diabetes connections.com and click on the Dexcom logo.
Before I let you go, we’re actually traveling this week. So the interview with Benny about Israel is coming up and thank you so much for all of the questions that you have sent in. There was a Facebook group posted Diabetes Connections of the group. If you want to chime in and ask me some questions to ask my son who recently got home from one month overseas. He is 16 and he was with a camp group but it was not a diabetes camp. He’s home safe and I’ve done some debriefing with him. It was really interesting. And Gosh, teenage boys. So interesting. I can’t wait to share some of his stuff with you. And some things I’m not sure I will share. No I mean we’re pretty much an open book but he right he doesn’t really handle diabetes exactly the same as I would but home safe and sound and really did very, very well. reminder that on Wednesdays I do in the news live On Facebook on Diabetes Connections, the Facebook page, and that becomes a podcast episode on Fridays I, as I said, I’m traveling, so hopefully technically all will go well, we shall see. But that in the news episode has become a lot of fun, frankly, and people really enjoy that still short, so I’ll put that out as well.
And then in the weeks to come, I have some great interviews for you. We have interviews about sports and being very active. I have an interview with the folks that have Afrezza that I’m really excited to bring to you. It’s been a while since we spoke to them. And of course, that interview with Benny, so lots to come. thank you as always to my editor John Bukenas from audio editing solutions. I thank you so much for listening. I’m Stacey Simms. I’ll see you back here in just a couple of days until then, be kind to yourself.
Diabetes Connections is a production of Stacey Simms Media. All rights reserved. All wrongs avenged