Are you an Animas user trying to figure out what your next year(s) might look like? Or just a fellow Canadian in the market for an insulin pump?
We’ve sat down the team at Medtronic to learn more about what they have to offer to Animas users and pump users in general.
I’M JUST GETTING TO KNOW MEDTRONIC. CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT MORE ABOUT THE COMPANY?
Medtronic was founded way back in 1949 by Earl Bakken and his brother-in-law, Palmer Hermundslie. The company became pioneers of many medical devices, including the first battery-powered pacemaker. Medtronic is now the world’s largest medical technology company. The first insulin pump came to market from Medtronic in 1983 – MiniMed® 502. It wasn’t until 1999 that the first Continuous Glucose Monitor was introduced. Today, Medtronic has several pumps on the market. In the USA, the first closed-loop hybrid system combining CGM and pumping technology was launched in 2017. Learn more about Medtronic’s innovation milestones, here.
GIVE ME THE BASICS. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE LATEST MEDTRONIC PRODUCTS?
If you’re living in Canada, let us outline your options. (If you’re living in the US, we’ll get back at ya’ with a post soon.) The current pump available for fellow Canadians is the 630G. The pump features a brand new design, different from the companies previous Paradigm model pumps. It is used in conjunction with the Enhanced Enlite sensor system. When worn together, your BG readings will show up on your pump – no receiver needed (in fact, there is no receiver available – If you’re using this system, the only device you’ll carry is the pump itself.)
WHAT HAVE YOU GUYS HEARD OF AS BEING ON THE HORIZON FROM MEDTRONIC? WHAT MIGHT WE HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO?
Disclaimer time. Medtronic is NOT able to share this information. We’re doing this all on our own. But it’s selfish to keep intel to ourselves. So we share with you.
The most exciting thing we can tell you about was announced just last week when Medtronic USA recieved FDA approval for their Smart Guardian Connect system, using the Sugar.IQ smart diabetes assistant. We have actually got to see the Sugar.IQ in action and IT IS COOL. Powered by IBM Watson (yep, the computer that beat everyone at Jeopardy way back when), the app uses artificial intelligence to find patterns in our BG behaviour that we’d struggle to find on our own. The app’s Glucose Assist function can help you find out how a certain food may affect your BGs specifically (as opposed to how that food affects people with diabetes, generally.) It takes pooled information from its AI database, your own BG trends and uses complex algorithms to make predictions that have been pretty amazing when tested out in real life.
One of the coolest parts of the product is that it is an advancement for people on MDI. It can be used as a stand-alone CGM for those who have found that MDI is the best option for them!
Read more about the app, here.
THE DETAILS – MINIMED 630G
- Reservoir Size: Can hold 300 units of Rapid-Acting Insulin
- Site Specifics: Works with Medtronic’s line of pump sites – Quick-set, Silhouette, Mio, Mio 30, and Sure-T.
- Waterproof: Up to 3.6m for 24 hours
- Bolus Wizard: Built-in bolus calculator that considers active insulin, carbs and BG to help determine precise bolus amounts
- Colour Home Screen: Home screen shows active insulin, CGM reading (if using CGM) OR last BG readings entered in past 12 minutes, bolus and basal options
- Basal Patterns: Ability to save 8 basal patterns (think, sick day, aerobic workout day, travel day, ‘time of the month’ day… the list goes on!)
- Preset Bolus: You can save preset boluses. Do you always bolus the same for breakfast? Save that bolus in your pump for easy access
- Event Markers & Reminders: You can tag events on your pump to show up in your records – exercise, feeling sick, stressed, etc. You can also have the pump send you reminders: Don’t forget to set temp basal, check BG 2 hours after meal, etc.
THE DETAILS – ENHANCED ENLITE
The enhanced Enlite was released in Canada in 2014, a second version of the original Enlite sensor. There are several upgrades to this sensor from the original version, listed below. The enhanced Enlite is also the part of the 630G system that really makes this pump special:
- Sensor size: The actual part that is inside your body sensing is 80% smaller than previous Enlites
- Consistent: The new design allows more consistent reading over the wear of the sensor
- Connection: The wireless connection allows for better communication between the sensor and the pump for fewer lost signal alarms
- Adhesive: The adhesive has been updated to cause less skin irritation
- SmartGuard Technology: This technology works to help prevent lows. When your BG drops below your set low threshold, it will suspend. The pump will stay suspended for 2 hours unless the user responds and tells it to do otherwise. This helps to prevent post-low highs (something some of our community members noticed with other pumps’ low-suspend functions.)
- Predictive Alerts: Using the CGM allows you to set up alarms that will help predict lows and highs based on the rate of change of your BGs. These are customizable and can also be turned off if you’re feeling alarm fatigue.
I’M AN ANIMAS PUMP USER AND MY PUMP IS STILL UNDER WARRANTY. WHAT NEXT STEPS SHOULD I CONSIDER WITH MEDTRONIC?
If this is you, you have a few options. No matter what, the important thing to know is that Medtronic has you covered until September 30, 2019. After that date, you will no longer have access to customer service or Animas compatible supplies. (Note: supplies MAY be available through other outlets if any remain in stock.)
If you purchased an insulin pump and it is still under warranty you will be able to receive warranty repairs and replacement pumps as normal until September 30, 2019. YOU MAY NOTICE THAT SERVICE IS SLOWER. Although customer support did move over to fall under Medtronic, Animas users may find that service is slower than they are used to, due to a very limited Animas-trained workforce. You’ll still get what you need until September 30, 2019.
Unfortunately, you’ll no longer have access to vacation loaner pumps. If you’re heading out on vacation and you’ve relied on a vacation loaner in the past, there are options. Watch out for a follow-up post, soon.
When September 30, 2019 rolls around, you’ll either continue using your pump without warranty services until you are able to purchase a new pump, or you’ll need to look into pumping options. Your pump sites and reservoirs will not be available after this date from Medtronic.
Beginning this spring, Animas pump users whose pumps are still under warranty will be able to begin to make the switch to the 630g for free. This is the result of a special program Animas set up before exiting the market. If you’re interested in learning more or having the chance to be one of the first to make the transition, click here.
If your warranty expires BEFORE September 30, 2019, when you receive your new 630g, you begin a new 5-year warranty cycle.
If your warranty expires AFTER September 30, 2019, when you receive your new 630g, your warranty expiration date will remain THE SAME. (In other words, if your warranty expires on December 1, 2019, but you start on the 630g in June 2018, you’ll be up for renewal and be able to reevaluate your options on December 1, 2019.)
I’M AN ANIMAS PUMP USER AND MY PUMP IS NOT UNDER WARRANTY ANYMORE. WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
If your Animas Insulin Pump is NOT under warranty, it’s time to start looking for another option. This process is similar to what you would have done even if Animas was an option for pumping today. Check in to find out if you can access any government support program (for example, the Assistive Devices Program in Ontario) or if your private insurance will cover your new pump. You can also contact pump companies directly to get their help with this. If you’re ready to move forward with the 630g specifically, you can take your first steps, here.
I REALLY VALUE THE EXPERIENCES OF THE COMMUNITY. ARE THERE ANY REVIEWS OF THE 630G OUT THERE YOU COULD SUGGEST READING?
Sure! You think just like us. Check these out (note: some of these posts are from the US so the BG measurement they reference is different from what we use here in Canada. Don’t worry. People are generally happy with a BG of 100 in the US!):
Review of the 630G Insulin Pump by Rick Phillips
Unique to Medtronic Pump/CGM by Waltzing the Dragon
FDA Approves Medtronic’s MiniMed 630G System, Ships in September by Brian Levine and Adam Brown of Diatribe
HOW IS MEDTRONIC ENGAGING WITH THE TYPE 1 DIABETES COMMUNITY?
It can actually be quite tricky to find more about what companies are doing to support the community that they’re serving (that’s us!), outside of providing products and services. We believe this is one of the most important questions we can ask. We’re grateful to the companies that are giving back and are proud to see the other work that Medtronic is doing in the community. We wanted to share what we could find with you!
We asked Medtronic directly what they had going on in the community: “Medtronic is a company driven by its Mission and works towards creating a better, healthier world for patients and their communities. Within Diabetes, Medtronic Canada engages with many patient communities across Canada that focuses on education, research, advocacy, support and a commitment to helping improve the lives of those touched by diabetes.”
Medtronic is a Summit Partner of Connected in Motion and has been a supporter of what we do since Day 1. Check out what programs they are supporting on our Partners Page.
Disclaimer: Although this is not paid content, Medtronic, Omnipod, Tandem and Dexcom are national partners of Connected in Motion. Our views may be biased because of these partnerships, but we still thought this information was helpful for the community.