Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) said today it has completed the acquisition of Klue, a San Jose, Calif.-based software company that tracks people’s eating in real-time and analyzes it with artificial intelligence (AI) to help control diabetes.
Medtronic plans to incorporate Klue’s technology into its Personalized Closed Loop (PCL) insulin pump system, which won FDA breakthrough device designation in February. PCL is designed to automate insulin delivery in real-time, adapting to the user to simplify diabetes management, according to the company. Medtronic also said it will use Klue’s technology to boost analytics and insights for its continuous glucose monitor (CGM) technology to help people using multiple daily injections stay ahead of high- and low-glucose events.
Klue tracks gestures using activity trackers to automatically recognize when, how quickly and how much a person is eating. Combined with its fine-motor AI software, the company’s system is designed to detect meals and provide insights into user eating behaviors. Because food consumption affects insulin requirements, the ability to automate meal identification along with the corresponding insulin delivery could greatly simplify living with diabetes, according to Medtronic.
Medtronic said its recent acquisition of Nutrino Health and its expertise in nutrition data science will also fuel the development of PCL Both acquisitions strengthen the company’s capabilities in automation and in the integration of artificial intelligence into diabetes management systems.
“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 Medtronic’s Advanced Insulin Management division, in a news release. “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.”
“Klue’s truly unique early meal detection technology can help transform diabetes care,” added Klue CEO & founder Katelijn Vleugels. “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.”
The transaction is expected to be neutral to fiscal year 2020 earnings per share and meet Medtronic’s long-term financial metrics for acquisitions, the company said. It did not disclose other terms of the transaction.
MDT opened slightly higher at $115.12, but was down 21% to $114.28 in early-afternoon trading.