Here's How Abbott Is Leaning Heavy into the Biowearables Space

With two new nods from FDA, Abbott is redefining the way we look at continuous glucose monitors.

Omar Ford

June 10, 2024

2 Min Read
Abbott's Lingo
Abbott's Lingo. The technology will track glucose and provide personalized insights and customized coaching to help people create healthy habits.Image Courtesy of Abbott Laboratories

At a Glance

  • Abbott has won nods for the over-the-counter use of the Lingo and Libre Rio.
  • Lingo focuses on promoting overall health, while Libre Rio targets type 2 diabetes management without insulin.
  • Abbott's FreeStyle Libre CGM has achieved significant sales growth and expanded reimbursement coverage.

Abbott is taking two of its continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technologies over the counter. The Abbott Park, IL-based company said it won nods from FDA for the Lingo and Libre Rio, based on its FreeStyle Libre CGM.

The company noted that the biowearable Lingo is designed for general consumers looking to improve their overall health and wellness. Lingo will track glucose and provide personalized insights and customized coaching to help people create healthy habits, retrain their metabolism, and improve their overall well-being.

The system combines a biosensor worn on the upper arm for 14 days and continuously streams glucose data to a coaching application on a smartphone.

The Libre Rio is designed for adults with type 2 diabetes who do not use insulin and typically manage their diabetes through lifestyle modifications. Abbott said the Libre Rio is the first over-the-counter CGM system with a measurement range of 40-400 mg/dL, allowing for measurement of extremely low or high glucose events.

"There is no one-size-fits all approach for glucose monitoring, which is why we've designed different products for different people – all based on the same world-leading biowearable technology," said Lisa Earnhardt, executive vice president and group president of Abbott's medical devices business. "People living with diabetes need certain features like tracking medications or sharing data with a healthcare provider. People without diabetes need different features to manage their metabolic health, including personalized coaching to promote actionable lifestyle changes."

Related:Abbott Has a Powerful Product Lineup in the Chamber

The Strength of the Freestyle Libre Brand

The Freestyle Libre was and remains one of the most transformative devices in the diabetes management space. During the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, Abbott CEO Robert Ford declared the Freestyle Libre as one of the best medtech products in history.

The company first won a nod for the Freestyle Libre in 2016. This was around the same time Medtronic won approval for the MiniMed 670G artificial pancreas – another game-changing device in the diabetes market.

During an April earnings call, Ford further touted the success of the Freestyle Libre.

“FreeStyle Libre sales were $1.5 billion in the quarter and grew 23%,” Ford said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of the call. “[The] Libre has several new growth opportunities that will help continue to fuel the strong sales trajectory we have forecasted. One of those growth opportunities relates to the continued expansion of reimbursement coverage for Libre, for individuals who use basal insulin therapy to manage their diabetes.”

Related:Top Diabetes Players Hope for Broader CGM Reimbursement

About the Author(s)

Omar Ford

Omar Ford is MD+DI's Editor-in-Chief. You can reach him at [email protected].


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