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Medtronic MiniMed Connect: A Key to Diabetes Management

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With rapidly increasing incidents of diabetes across the U.S., healthcare organizations are now focused on innovating technologies that will effectively help the nation's 29.1 million diabetics manage their health conditions. Not wanting to be left behind in the race, Medtronic plcMDT - apioneer in the artificial pancreas technology - recently made U.S. commercial launch of MiniMed Connect, its cloud-based display device that facilitates diabetes care, well within the expected time.

The launch reflects the company's attempts to transform diabetes care by providing improved outcomes as well as greater freedom for diabetics. Medtronic is leaving no stone unturned to consolidate its position as a leading holistic diabetes management company in the U.S.

The MiniMed Connect is a unique device that allows patients to conveniently view data from their continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and MiniMed insulin pump ontheir smartphones. It also allows remote monitoring via text-based notifications for concerned caregivers when a patient's glucose levels reach abnormal heights, through the company's CareLink Site. This facilitates appropriate physician treatment decisions in real time.

Currently, patients in possession of iPhones or iPod touch only canenjoy the benefits of this device at the moment as the smartphone app associated with it is available with iOS devices for now. A significant opportunity still lies untapped as almost 80% of mobile users across the globe currently use Android-enabled phones.

Given the key size of this unaddressed target market, the company has taken necessary measures to cope with this challenge beforehand as well. In June 2015, Medtronic joined hands with electronic giants - Samsung - to develop a mobile app that will run on Android-enabled phones. Once this app reaches the market, diabetics using Samsung mobiles and wearable devices will no longer be deprived of MiniMed Connect'sbenefits.

We believe once the Android-compatible app becomes available, more patients will adopt Medtronic's MiniMed insulin pumps to take full advantage of the unique MiniMed Connect device, which in turn will raise profits from the company's Diabetes segment.

Historically, managing diabetes has always been a challenging task for physicians, given its link to serious health complications including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and even premature death. As per the estimates of International Diabetes Federation (IDF), in 2014, over 387 million people were diagnosed with diabetes worldwide. The condition claimed an alarming 4.9 million lives.

The global health expenditure behind diabetes cure and management was almost $612 billion in 2014, indicating the tough challenge healthcare enterprises face in combating the disease.

Thus, a cost-effective diabetes management tool, in sync with patients' daily lifestyle, is the need of the hour. With smartphones at the helm of technology today, Medtronic's launch of MiniMed Connect is perfectly timed, with its own take on cost and time benefits.

Going forward, we expect Medtronic to emerge as a market leader in the multi-billion dollar diabetes devices and drugs market, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% (during 2013-19) to $83 billion in 2019.

Currently, Medtronic has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked medical product stocks are ICU Medical, Inc. ICUI , OraSure Technologies, Inc. OSUR and NuVasive, Inc. NUVA . All the three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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MEDTRONIC (MDT): Free Stock Analysis Report

ORASURE TECH (OSUR): Free Stock Analysis Report

NUVASIVE INC (NUVA): Free Stock Analysis Report

ICU MEDICAL INC (ICUI): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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