Medtronic recruits 'Top Chef' contender Sam Talbot for diabetes tech push

"Top Chef" competitor, restaurant owner and cookbook author Sam Talbot is the face of Medtronic's new "Live More. Worry Less." campaign. (Medtronic)

Food has always been important to celebrity chef Sam Talbot. Not only because the “Top Chef” TV show contender and restaurant owner loves to cook, but also because he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 12.

And now, Talbot has signed on as spokesman for Medtronic’s new campaign “Live More. Worry Less.” Based on research and insights from diabetes patients, the campaign centers on the message that technology can do some of the work required to manage their disease—and ease stress in the process.

Medtronic found in its studies that both Type 1 and Type 2 patients spend a lot of energy worrying about diabetes, including doing things like waking themselves up several times during the night to check glucose levels, said Mark Grant, Medtronic’s vice president in the Americas region for its diabetes group, in an email interview.

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“We know diabetes comes with a mental burden. We know many people with diabetes are constantly thinking about their glucose levels," he said, adding, "[W]e want people to know that we are designing products that will help you worry less about diabetes."

The campaign highlights Medtronic’s currently approved technology as well as its continuing development of products, such as new algorithms to predict and detect problems, to help diabetes patients and their caregivers. Media will include digital partnerships, sponsored content, social media and public relations. With its insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), Medtronic leads the market in diabetes device sales.

As an example of Medtronic's work to make diabetes management easier, the company recently announced a deal with insulin giant Novo Nordisk to integrate digital offerings, including the sharing of data between CGMs and smart insulin pens.

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Talbot himself uses Medtronic’s Guardian Connect monitoring system, and, in interviews around the campaign, he's discussing the ways the system has helped him.

“I’m very excited to be partnering with Medtronic to help get the message out about their technology and help people with diabetes truly live more and worry less," Talbot said via email. "Because when you live with diabetes, it’s easy to worry a lot. For me, wearing my CGM and knowing my sugar levels helps me be in the moment and on top of my game."

Talbot is also one of the four co-founders of the Beyond Type 1 nonprofit community and advocacy group along with Jonas Brothers singer Nick Jonas, who also has Type 1 diabetes.