Olympic Athletes Turn to Diabetes Tech - Amplify Oshkosh

Olympic Athletes Turn to Diabetes Tech

Olympic Athletes Turn to Diabetes Tech in Pursuit of Medals


Olympians, including Dutch marathon runner Abdi Nageeye, are using a new tool they hope will boost their medal chances this summer: tiny monitors that attach to the skin to track blood glucose levels. Continuous glucose monitors, or CGMs, were developed for use by diabetes patients but their makers, led by Abbott (ABT.N) and Dexcom (DXCM.O), also spy opportunities in sports and wellness.


The Paris Olympics, which start on July 26, are an opportunity to showcase the technology – even though there is as yet no proof it can boost athletic performance. “I do see a day where CGM is certainly going to be used outside of diabetes in a big way,” said Dexcom’s Chief Operating Officer Jacob Leach. Diabetes patients remain the CGM specialist’s commercial focus, he told Reuters, but Dexcom is also working with researchers on future use to optimize athletic performance. He would not disclose details.


The CGM market is already worth billions of dollars thanks to demand from diabetes patients, who use the coin-sized adhesive skin patches with a Bluetooth link to a smartphone instead of drawing blood through a finger stick. The readings help determine whether they need an insulin dose. In March, Dexcom’s Stelo device, targeting people with early-stage diabetes who are not on insulin, became the first CGM to win US approval for purchase without a prescription. Launch is planned for this summer.


Abbott introduced a CGM product for amateur and elite sports users without diabetes in Europe as early as 2020 and has sponsored Kenyan marathon great Eliud Kipchoge and his team since 2021. Top athletes and their support staff have been using CGMs to optimize calorie intake and workout intensity as they prepare for sport events. Abbott said it is targeting the non-diabetic consumer market. It is eyeing a US launch for its Lingo device and smartphone app for health and wellbeing, available in Britain since January at a cost of 120-150 pounds ($152-$190) per month. Sales of Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre range, the most commonly used CGMs, rose 23% to $5.3 billion in 2023 on demand from diabetes patients who value their ease of use and monitoring precision. Dexcom saw 2023 revenue grow 24% to $3.6 billion.


To read the rest of the article, click here.