February 23, 2012

Dexcom Acquires Sweet Spot. Is Dewy on the way?

Dexcom released their earnings call online today. (Listen here for your self to see how off I am in my reporting.)

These calls are like a crystal ball. Fun but future looking. I looked for a picture of a Dexcom and a crystal ball ad found Kerri's Dexcom isn a glass with a super cute cutest Birdie picture. Close enough.

Right off the bat I found it interesting. Terry Gregg announced the acquisition of SweetSpot http://www.sweetspotdiabetes.com/.

Even the most casual reader of YDMV knows I have a particular interest in diabetes data. SweetSpot was identified on the call as adding sophisticated diabetes data management to the Dexcom portfolio. Terry Gregg identified two shortcoming in the Dexcom offerings; CGM pump integration and universal data integration. Ultimately they hope to see seamless data flow from the CGM to a mobile device and into the cloud.

Dexcom also mentioned the recent Tandem and Roche agreements. Interestingly the used the term “open architecture” repeatedly on the call in the CGM pump context.

Generation 4 sensors were said to be expected to be submitted to the the FDA end of Q1 early Q2 2012 and it sounds like CGM/Pump about a quarter days after Gen 4. YDMV.

Gen 5 was briefly mentioned and in the context of connecting out to open architecture devices including mobile and the cloud. Also accuracy was said to be at therapeutic levels.

The business model for sweet spot was covered in a question. At times it sounded a little big brother like with the VA, clinics and possibly insurers being customers of the data service. Naturally I would love to hear more about patients and later in the call they noted that the current product is approved for clinics.  Patients can see see what the clinic sees gets, so i guess (key word guess) patients aren't approved recipients of SweetSpot. A desire for a more patient centric data model was shared by one of the Dexcom C suite dudes. Anything is ways off in the future. There was also mention of criticism from the physician community of Dexcom for not having a means of connecting Dexcom information to the clinic. The future is digital and the acquisition of SweetSpot look like good positioning of the future.

At about 36 minutes into the call there was an interesting exchange on the Gen 5 product and the FDA. Specifically comments about the FDA concern that the health data being primary in on the mobile device. There were some interesting real world comments about os upgrades and aps running on devices. It was brief but good to know someone is having the conversations with the FDA and helping move the ball forward. I am sure the conversations are happening elsewhere but still it comforting to hear about the exchanges. Also interesting comments at about 56 min about their relationship with FDA. I'm "happy" with the FDA, industry has to make an effort.

On a personal note my kids don’t like carrying another thing so getting the CGM into the pump and ultimately the cloud is a step that may help them choose to wear sensor more.

Full disclosure, I own Dexcom shares.



  1. So what are the improvements on gen 4 and 5 appart from being able to connect with other devices? I will be very disapointed if this is their only improvemet!!

  2. Formost form a user perspective is accuracy. Although there are users I know, aka live in my house, for who gen 4 getting info into the pump may be a bigger issue as they HATE carrying a receiver as another piece of stuff. How the sensor is manufactured is an issue too but more to financial analysts.