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Medtronic Announces First Use of Sugar.IQ with Watson App


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Medical device major Medtronic plc (MDT - Analyst Report) recently announced the first human use of its latest Sugar.IQ with Watson app. The application has been developed in collaboration with Watson Health, a division of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). This innovative app, which claims to be helpful in detecting vital patterns and trends for diabetic patients, will be put to test on the initial users at the 10th Annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference in Santa Clara, CA.

Medtronic is positive on the latest development as this application is expected to successfully combine the company’s continuous glucose monitoring sensors with IBM Watson Health’s cognitive computing power in order to recognize the hidden patterns in diabetes data.

More specifically, the Sugar.IQ app will help identify vital glucose patterns and trends for people with diabetes by using real-time continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and insulin information from Medtronic pumps and glucose sensors. Its single platform combined with IBM’s software cognitive computing power will simplify the process of pattern detection and provide insights into a patient’s health status.

Management at Medtronic feels that Sugar.IQ with Watson application will help transform diabetes care by offering enhanced quality of health service. The company will initially offer a limited launch of this application, only to 100 MiniMed Connect mobile accessory users before the broader launch scheduled for later this year.

Considering the emerging trend in diabetic care, we also expect Medtronic’s Sugar.IQ platform to taste success. As per a Mordor Intelligence report, the global market for diabetes care devices is likely to reach a worth of $26.96 billion by 2019, at a CAGR of 5.93%.

Medtronic has been continuously expanding in the Diabetes space. Recently, the company gained FDA approval for its Enlite sensor, in line with its objective to offer better healthcare solutions for diabetic patients. Last month, the company introduced MiniMed 630G system with a user-friendly insulin pump and the FDA-approved SmartGuard technology for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in patients aged sixteen years and above. The company recorded year-to-date net sales of $1.368 billion, an increase of 6% from the comparable period.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Medtronic carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the medical product sector are GW Pharmaceuticals plc (GWPH - Analyst Report) , Quidel Corp. (QDEL - Snapshot Report) and NuVasive, Inc. (NUVA - Analyst Report) . GW Pharmaceuticals and Quidel sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while NuVasive carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

GW Pharmaceuticals recorded 79.88% year to date, far better than the S&P 500’s 5.67% gain over the same time frame.

Quidel gained 16.05% in the past one year, higher than the S&P 500’s gain of 13.09%. Over the next five years, the stock is estimated to record earnings growth of 20%, higher than the industry average of 14.8%.

NuVasive gained 39.59% over the past one year compared to the S&P 500’s 13.09%. Over the next five years, the stock is expected to see 16.7% earnings growth compared to the industry average of 14.8%.

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