On Tuesday, Medtronic announced it has data to demonstrate that the partially automated feature of its MiniMed 670G pump system improves the amount of time pump users experience optimal blood sugar levels.
According to a press release, 670G users showed an average Time in Range of 71 percent, which means they had blood sugar levels between 70 mg/dL and 180 mg/dL just over 70 percent of the time. The announcement also mentioned that the automated basal feature helped the pump users reduce time spent below 70 mg/dL by 28 percent.
For this announcement, Medtronic unveiled 14 months of aggregated data from 670G users who use the company’s CareLink software. That data represented nearly 8 million patient days of people with type 1 diabetes utilizing the 670G system.
The data also showed that people with type 1 diabetes who utilized the 670G’s automated basal control feature spent an additional 2.3 additional hours per day in an optimal blood sugar range compared 670G users who did not utilize the automated feature.
Time in Range is growing in popularity as a diagnostic tool, as some clinicians seek a more precise measurement for blood sugar management than HbA1c. Researchers are finding an association between the amount of time spent between 70 mg/dL and 180 mg/dL and the risk of complications among people with type 1 diabetes. Recently, Medtronic made headlines for entering into an agreement with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to tie Medtronic’s compensation for its Guardian Connect continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to Time in Range for those who received the CGM through the insurer.
The Time in Range gulf between those who utilize the automated features and those who do not might give added importance to a recent study showing a high level of device burnout among 670G users. In March, Dr. Gregory Goodwin of Boston Children’s Hospital shared results from an observational study which showed that 35 out of 93 670G users had discontinued using the pump within 15 months, largely because of user experience issues and concerns about sensor accuracy.
If the automated basal delivery feature of the 670G provides such a real-world Time in Range benefit as the data suggest, then it could be critical for clinicians and Medtronic to ensure that every 670G user is successful utilizing this feature to the fullest extent.