Roche Taps Glytec for Digital Health Partnership

The partnership will leverage Glytec's insulin dosing support software to address challenges with hospital inpatient blood sugar management.

Amanda Pedersen

January 12, 2022

4 Min Read
Glytec and Roche collaborate to improve glycemic management in hospital patients
Image by Jovica Varga / Alamy Stock Photo

Glytec, a Gold winner in the 2021 Medical Design Excellence Awards competition, has nabbed a rather big partnership with Roche that will ultimately benefit countless hospital patients and their clinicians.

Through a digital health collaboration, Glytec's insulin dosing decision support software, Glucommander, will be the first software application available to run on Roche's newly launched cobas pulse. A next-generation hospital blood glucose system, cobas pulse is designed with the intention of improving patient safety and care by enabling point-of-care clinicians to collect and take immediate action on glycemic management data.

The collaboration with Roche Diagnostics USA could bring some long overdue recognition to Waltham, MA-based Glytec and underscore the need for Glytec's technology in the hospital setting. It also comes at a time when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has called for increased focus on glycemic management for hospital patients, regardless of whether or not they are insulin-dependent outside of the hospital setting. CMS published two new eCQMs to measure glycemic management outcomes in August as part of its annual inpatient prospective payment system update.

"In the inpatient setting over a third – in some cases, depending on patient demographics, it can be up to 40% or 50% of patients – are on insulin while they're in the acute care setting, even if they're not insulin-dependent diabetics when they're out of the hospital," Glytec CEO Ed Furlong told MD+DI. "That's because of the stress their bodies are under from the other acute condition they’re in, which can induce glycemic management challenges, hyperglycemia for example."

Furlong said there are also certain procedures, especially cardiac procedures, for which the standard of care is to put the patient on insulin while they are in the hospital.

“This condition is really the only disease today that can literally exist in every bed, in every unit, on every floor of a hospital," Furlong said. "… So the hospitals ability to handle this is quite challenging for them because they don't have endocrinologists at every bedside … so they really do need an electronic management system in order to deploy this at scale across the health system and manage the glycemic management condition that patients are in."

According to Glytec, the Glucommander software has been proven to reduce severe low blood sugar by 99.8%, 30-day readmissions by 36-68%, and length of stay by up to 3.2 days. The safety and efficacy of Glucommander have been validated in hundreds of research studies, the company noted. One Glytec customer calculated that Glucommander led to over $9 million in cost savings in the first year of use.

While a small company of 100-plus employees, Glytec was the first company to receive FDA clearance for an insulin titration decision support solution, a milestone that occurred in 2006, the same year the company was founded. Since then, the company has secured several additional FDA clearances for its technology, including clearance for pediatric use in patients ages 2 to 17.

“Our algorithmic decision support software has been helping hospital clinicians optimize glycemic management for nearly two decades, and we’ve seen the positive impact it can have,” Furlong said. “The fact that Roche understands the importance of inpatient glycemic management and chose Glytec as the first software partner for the revolutionary device it’s designing speaks volumes about the technology we’ve built and the direction the market is headed.”

Recognizing that time is a clinicians most limited resource, the objective of the Roche-Glytec partnership is to combine the immediacy of a bedside blood glucose test with Glytec's insulin decision support on a single, handheld device, with the intention of streamlining workflows and saving time. The integrated device and applications are designed to improve patient safety and outcomes by empowering point-of-care clinicians to collect and take immediate action on glycemic management data.

“Diagnostics play a critical role in helping people live longer and healthier lives and we are hopeful that this partnership with Glytec will bring an innovative glucose management tool to the point of care,” said Brad Moore, senior vice president of core lab and point of care at Roche Diagnostics. “Our goal is to drive better care for patients and there is a great need for a diagnostic ecosystem that combines accurate results, robust data, and digital capabilities to improve the standard of care.”

Now that Roche has launched the cobas pulse system in select markets under a CE mark, the company plans to seek CE IVDR and FDA clearance for the system in order to launch the product more globally throughout 2022.

About the Author(s)

Amanda Pedersen

Amanda Pedersen is a veteran journalist and award-winning columnist with a passion for helping medical device professionals connect the dots between the medtech news of the day and the bigger picture. She has been covering the medtech industry since 2006.

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