Samsung, Insulet collaboration prepares to launch smartphone-controlled insulin pump

samsung phone
A Samsung phone could soon be used to deliver insulin to diabetic patients. (Pixabay)

Apple and Google aren’t the only tech giants interested in healthcare. Samsung has its eye on the medical device space with a new effort to launch a smartphone-controlled insulin pump.

Samsung announced on Wednesday that it is collaborating with Insulet to mesh a Galaxy smartphone app with Insulet’s Omnipod management system to allow users to securely control insulin delivery through their phone. The FDA-approved Omnipod DASH, a mobile app designed to be used on a “locked down mobile device,” will eventually be integrated onto Samsung devices equipped with Knox, the company’s mobile security platform.

Although the app has the FDA’s blessing, the combination that would allow insulin to be delivered to a user has not yet received approval. Dave Rhew, M.D., Samsung Electronics America's chief medical officer said the company is in discussion with regulators alongside Insulet and expects approval in 2019.

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“It’s a very revolutionary approach to how smartphones will be and could be used down the road to better manage medical conditions,” Rhew told FierceHealthcare.

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Samsung is one of nine companies in the FDA’s Software Pre-Cert program, but Rhew said the partnership with Insulet is separate from that endeavor. Samsung has shown growing interest in using phones and wearables for personal health and at-home monitoring and disease management. The company launched new updates to Samsung Health after launching the platform last year.

The latest collaboration with Insulet adds to existing wellness data tracking tools to provide users “one central hub where we can manage many aspects of one’s condition,” Rhew said, adding that giving consumers more power to track their own health data is becoming a major technology trend.

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It’s also the company’s way of addressing more substantial concerns around a growing population with multiple chronic conditions.

“Many individuals have later stage chronic diseases that need to be managed,” he said. “We’re finding a way to bring all the technology onto one device."