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MTANZ Innovation Awards 2017

Date 19 JUNE 2017
Location Auckland

Smart warning device for diabetics wins healthcare innovation award

A continuous glucose monitoring device that uses mobile technology has won the James & Wells Medical Technology Association of NZ Innovation Award for 2017.


New Zealand Medical & Scientific (NZMS) was presented the award for the Dexcom G5 Mobile™ by Jonathan Lucas, partner at James & Wells, at Health Tech Week Gala Dinner. NZMS is the New Zealand distributor for Dexcom Corporation, the United States company that created the device.


More than 240,000 New Zealanders have type 1 or 2 diabetes. Dexcom G5™ helps diabetics to prevent rapid glucose drops, leading to dangerous hypoglycaemic events, by sending real-time glucose readings straight to their smart device every five minutes.


The readings come from a 26G platinum coated sensor (approximately the width of a cat hair) inserted under the skin. The reusable transmitter is attached to a sensor pod and the reading is updated to the diabetic’s smart device.


 A free Share App is installed on the diabetic’s smart device enabling the information to be shared with up to five others, such as his or her parents or caregivers and medical carers.


Patients with Type 1 Diabetes need to monitor their blood glucose levels up to 15 times a day to detect potentially fatal hypoglycaemia, an event where his or her glucose drops to dangerous levels and may result in loss of consciousness or a debilitating seizure.


Traditional blood reading, using finger pricks to get a drop of blood to test, only provide a snapshot of what is happening, not which direction the blood glucose is travelling, or how quickly.


Studies of patients using Dexcom G5™ have consistently shown that they are able to significantly reduce haemoglobin (HbA1c) and as a result the likelihood of complications. Parents of children with diabetes can sleep through the night knowing their G5™ alarms will wake them if glucose thresholds are exceeded. The technology also provides peace of mind for adults with aged parents living alone.  And active diabetics can even do endurance sports without having to continually stop and check their glucose levels.


MTANZ chief executive Faye Sumner says rewarding excellence in the sector is important: “Our organisation believes these awards, which are open to both imported and locally developed medical technology, highlight exciting innovation in the NZ health technology market. Such innovation is essential to deliver better outcomes for patients and improve healthcare efficiencies in the NZ system.”


The awards were judged on a product’s significant contribution to improving patient outcomes by enhancing quality of life, as well as evidence of technical excellence and innovation.


The full list of finalists follows:

MEDTRONIC NEW ZEALAND LTD - Solitaire Platinum™ Revascularisation Device – Mechanical Thrombectomy


 OBEX MEDICAL - Bio Compression pneumatic gradient sequential circulators


 OLYMPUS - ShockPulse Lithotripsy System


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