Medtronic PLC is buying a Dutch diabetes clinic and research center, a modest but strategically significant acquisition for the global medical device giant.
Terms of Medtronic’s deal to acquire the independent clinic Diabeter were not disclosed, and are not expected to be material to company earnings. Diabeter has 36 employees in four locations to actively manage the diabetes of 1,500 patients.
“This acquisition marks Medtronic’s first entry into a diabetes integrated care model approach and signifies that Medtronic Diabetes is more than pumps and sensors,” Hooman Hakami, president of the diabetes division, said in a statement. “We are a holistic diabetes management company focused on making a real difference in outcomes and cost.”
Medtronic, a Dublin-based company that employs about 9,300 people in Minnesota, earned the vast majority of its $27.8 billion in revenue last year selling medical gadgets. The diabetes group, by the far the smallest of the company’s four stand-alone divisions, comprised 6 percent of company revenue through sales of devices like MiniMed insulin pumps.
Company officials are betting that integrated health care delivery and diabetes overall will evolve into bigger businesses over time.
The company is already actively managing and modernizing heart-catheterization labs in European hospitals that use Medtronic devices to open blocked blood vessels. And last year Medtronic announced a partnership with Aetna to identify patients with chronic diabetes whose overall costs of care can be lowered through active disease management and education, and by using the company’s insulin pumps.
Medtronic said in announcing the deal that the company was particularly interested in Diabeter’s “dashboard” technology, which links its young patients and their physicians online and encourages patients to self-manage their Type 1 diabetes with the support of a care team at the office.
“Internal Diabeter data show that their patients have achieved significant reductions in HbA1c levels, a key measurement used to assess blood glucose control,” the company statement said. “Near normal blood glucose control has been shown to reduce long-term complications of diabetes and can reduce health care costs over the long term.”
The company said Diabeter will be allowed to maintain its autonomy in clinical decisionmaking, including choices about therapies and brand choice.