Medtronic Buys Diabetes Management Startup Klue to Strengthen Personalized Closed Loop System

Irish Medtech giant Medtronic has acquired California-based Klue, a startup that uses gesture sensing and other behavioral health metrics to determine when a user is consuming food, providing real-time insights into eating habits.

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Klue’s technology is expected to be incorporated into the Medtronic Personalized Closed Loop (PCL) insulin pump system, currently in development. The PCL system is designed to automate insulin delivery in a way that is real-time, personalized and adapts to the user, with a goal of dramatically simplifying diabetes management for the patient. In addition, the Klue technology can be leveraged to enhance the company’s market-leading analytics and insights in their smart CGM technology to help people using multiple daily injections (MDI) stay ahead of high and low glucose events, Medtronic said in a press release.

“Bringing Klue and their unique meal detection capabilities into our organization will accelerate our progress to help people with diabetes live with greater freedom and better health,” said Alejandro Galindo, president of the Advanced Insulin Management division, which is part of the Diabetes Group at Medtronic. “Based on our learnings from a first-generation hybrid closed loop system around the importance of simplifying diabetes management, we believe the Personalized Closed Loop system will be transformational for diabetes management, and the integration of the Klue technology helps clears the path to a true hands-free closed loop system.”

A laptop and a mobile phone
Image: Klue

By using gesture sensing via activity trackers combined with analytics technology, Klue has developed fine motor artificial intelligence software that can detect meals and provide insights into user eating behaviors. Because food consumption is intrinsically related to insulin requirements for people living with diabetes, the ability to automate meal identification along with the corresponding insulin delivery is an unmet need that could greatly simplify living with this disease.

In February 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave PCL Breakthrough Device designation. In addition to Klue, the recent acquisition of Nutrino Health and their expertise in nutrition data science will play a key role in the accelerated development of this breakthrough technology. Both acquisitions strengthen the company’s capabilities in automation and in the integration of artificial intelligence into diabetes management systems.

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“Klue’s truly unique early meal detection technology can help transform diabetes care,” said Katelijn Vleugels, CEO & founder of Klue. “Joining Medtronic creates a tremendous opportunity to advance diabetes therapies and, together, we will accelerate our shared mission to help people with diabetes live their happiest and healthiest lives.”