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It's well known that medical devices get to market, on average, two years faster in the European Union than in the United States. The device lag, as it is known, is one of the main reasons why so many medical device manufacturers have adopted a "Europe first" strategy when marketing a new device. The approval process in the United States also is quite onerous. It's a hurdle that UK-based Timesulin, which has developed a smart cap for insulin pens sold in 40 countries, has yet to clear.

Norbert Sparrow

March 25, 2014

3 Min Read
Smart cap for insulin pens tries to crack U.S. market via crowdfunding campaign

It's well known that medical devices get to market, on average, two years faster in the European Union than in the United States. The device lag, as it is known, is one of the main reasons why so many medical device manufacturers have adopted a "Europe first" strategy when marketing a new device. The approval process in the United States also is quite onerous. It's a hurdle that UK-based Timesulin, which has developed a smart cap for insulin pens sold in 40 countries, has yet to clear. It hopes to change that and bring its technology to the United States via a crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo.

"The Timesulin team and I have been frustrated at our inability to crack the barriers to entry into the United States," says Timesulin CEO and co-founder, John Sjölund. "Crowdfunding allows us to empower people with diabetes, just like us, to decide for themselves which tools they need to manage their diabetes in the best possible way," he adds. Sjölund has been living with diabetes for 28 years.

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Timesulin was launched in the United Kingdom in February 2012 as a simple way for people with diabetes to keep track of when they had their last injection. It prevents missed injections as well as double injections, which can be life threatening. A study conducted by insulin pen maker Novo Nordisk found that more than one in three patients skip doses or fail to take their insulin as prescribed on average three times per month. Physicians taking part in another survey put noncompliance events even higher. The Timesulin device solves this problem with a simple, elegant design.

The Timesulin smart cap snaps onto existing insulin pens and tells users when they took their last shot. There are no settings to adjust or instruction manuals to read. Gizmodo said it best: "If you've ever put a pen cap back on a pen, you already know how to use the Timesulin." And people have been using, and liking, it. Check out the video testimonial below from diabetes advocate and Huffington Post contributor Riva Greenberg.

The company says that most of the website traffic comes from the United States and demand for the product has been significant, but it does not have the resources required to submit the device for FDA approval. By launching an indiegogo campaign, Timesulin hopes to achieve an even deeper engagement with the U.S. diabetes community and to raise the $35,000 it needs for the FDA approval process.

Unlike other crowdfunding campaigns, funds from the indiegogo campaign won't go toward research and development, says the company. Instead, they will be channeled into "overcoming the barriers that exist in the U.S. market and giving an established market base access to the simple diabetes management tools that Timesulin creates," the company said in a press release. "Crowdfunding provides a powerful way for small companies, like ours, to innovate and compete with huge pharmaceutical companies on a level playing field," Sjölund says.

Norbert Sparrow

Norbert Sparrow is Senior Editor at PlasticsToday. Follow him on twitter @norbertcsparrow and Google+.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.

www.linkedin.com/in/norbertsparrow

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