Demand for glucose monitoring devices with the most advanced technology is growing as the number of diabetic patients increases. Here are nine glucose monitoring device stocks.
The rate of diabetes has doubled from 4.7 percent in 1980 to 8.5 percent in 2014, according to the World Health Organization. This increase amounts to 422 million adults diagnosed with the disease in 2015, and diabetes is now one of the 10 top causes of death around the world.
For investors looking at healthcare, glucose monitoring device stocks could be an area of opportunity.
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are serious diseases where patients cannot produce insulin or have an insulin resistance. A non-diabetic patient’s body doses insulin regularly to use glucose from carbohydrates in food.
Monitoring glucose is the most important tool for diabetics to manage their disease, prevent serious complications and improve symptoms. Some complications can include nerve, kidney and eye damage and cardiovascular disease.
Glucose monitoring devices are divided between two sectors: self-monitoring and continuous-monitoring systems. Type 2 diabetics primarily use self-monitoring devices, while Type 1 diabetics generally use continuous glucose devices.
As Type 2 diabetes is the most common of the two, and is the area that is growing the fastest, there are more companies focusing on self-monitoring devices.
Self-monitoring devices are also in focus for companies because they can play a big role for those with Type 1 diabetes — even with continuous glucose monitoring devices, Type 1 diabetes patients may need a self-monitoring device to get a more accurate reading and to calibrate other machines.
With this in mind, the Investing News Network has rounded up some of the top glucose monitoring device stocks. Needless to say, the list only touches the surface of products available.
The companies listed are in alphabetical order, and figures were taken from Google Finance as of market close September 19, 2018. They are quoted in US dollars unless otherwise noted.
1. Dario Health (NASDAQ:DRIO)
Market cap: $22.2 million; current share price: $1.04
First on our glucose monitoring device stocks list is Dario Health, which differentiates its product from others on this list by its device size and compatibility. The MyDario is a pocket-sized device that includes a lancing device, strip cartridge placeholder and meter. As for compatibility, the product only functions through the use of a smartphone using Dario’s app.
The app, however, is not just meant for reading glucose — it also contains a log book, an option for counting carbs, reminders and hypoglycemia alerts, among others. The latter alert can be linked with four contacts and, in the event the patient’s glucose reads as hypoglycemic, the contacts are sent the glucose level reading along with GPS coordinates.
2. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
Market cap: $376.82 billion; current share price: $140.46
Through its subsidiary LifeScan, Johnson & Johnson is behind the OneTouch series, with multiple devices for diabetes healthcare, including insulin pumps, an app and three meters among other equipment.
All of the self-monitoring glucose devices feature USB connectivity, but the Verio Flex has Bluetooth connectivity to connect to the company’s app, OneTouch Reveal. The app syncs with the device and has a timeline, among other features, to highlight important glucose events.
3. Panasonic (OTCMKTS:PCRFY,TSE:6752)
Market cap: $27.74 billion; current share price: $11.97
Largely known as a technology company, Panasonic has diversified over the years, landing itself on our glucose monitoring device stocks list. The company first entered the diabetes market by acquiring Ascensia Diabetes Care from Bayer (OTCMKTS:BAYRY,ETR:BAYN). Ascensia is head of the Contour Next meters. With four devices, the products alert patients of glucose levels from a finger prick inserted into the reader, as with the other self-monitoring devices.
The Contour Next Link has the ability to wirelessly send glucose test readings to a compatible insulin pump by Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) so the patient can skip another step of injecting insulin.
4. Roche (OTCMKTS:RHHBY,SWX:ROG)
Market cap: $208.76 billion; current share price: $30.55
This big pharma company is also a player in diabetes care with the Accu-Chek line of products. The line has four meters with glucose results appearing as quick as four seconds with the Accu-Chek Guide — whereas other meters show results in five seconds.
The Guide also comes with a spill-resistant pack carrying the widest dosing area for blood in the market. The device also has a light to help patients insert the testing strip into the machine, and can eject the strip for a more hygenic removal.
5. Sanofi (NYSE:SNY)
Market cap: $108.82 billion; current share price: $43.90
Another big pharma company on our glucose monitoring device stocks list is Sanofi, which owns the MyStar line of products with four meters. The company also has app-compatible meters for its own app and other products for the meters.
Each meter has a different set of features as unique as the patients using the product. The MyStar Plus is the smallest meter in the MyStar line; patients can fit the device in their pocket compared to other bulkier machines.
Continuous glucose monitoring devices
6. Abbott (NYSE:ABT)
Market cap: $1120.17 billion; current share price: $68.50
With a similar system concept to Dexcom’s G6 continuous glucose monitoring device, Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre device also doesn’t require the use of the self-monitoring devices. The sensor can stay on the body for 14 days at a time.
This was the second continuous glucose monitoring device approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It can be used by diabetic adult patients who have two years of experience self-managing their diabetes. The device itself provides similar graphs to the self-monitoring devices.
7. Dexcom (NASDAQ:DXCM)
Market cap: $12.29 billion; current share price: $139.08
Dexcom’s G5 Mobile system was the first-ever continuous glucose monitoring device approved by the FDA. Later, Dexcom’s G5 Mobile app was also the first-approved app to be used with a continuous glucose monitoring device, the newer G6 model. This company’s only focus is diabetic healthcare, whereas others on this list are more diversified.
Though the G5 model still needs two daily calibrations from a self-monitoring device, the newest G6 doesn’t need any — unless symptoms or expectations aren’t matching the device’s reading. This device is used with a waterproof sensor that is worn for 10 days and monitors the glucose under the skin.
Market cap: $130.84 billion; current share price: $96.46
Medtronic says the Guardian Connect continuous glucose monitoring system is the first smart system for patients on insulin injections. The small sensor takes readings every five minutes and sends readings to the company’s app automatically.
This device requires two daily finger pricks from a self-monitoring device to calibrate the Guardian Connect. Similar to other devices, the sensor lasts up to 10 days.
9. Senseonics (NYSE:SENS)
Market cap: $735.79 million; current share price: $4.18
Last on the list of top glucose monitoring device stocks is Senseonics with the Eversense system. This device had a landmark FDA approval as the first device with a long-term implantable system. The fluorescence-based implantable device lasts up to three months.
Similar to other devices, a sensor is worn over the skin — in this case above the planted sensor. The app featured with the device system allows up to five contacts to view the patient’s glucose data. Currently this device is only available for adults and is not meant to replace the self-monitoring devices.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Gabrielle Lakusta, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.