In September, the FDA approved a big leap forward in diabetes technology, the world’s first hybrid closed loop system. The MiniMed® 670G system is designed for people with type 1 diabetes who are 14 and older. Having been diagnosed with type 1 in 1989, when blood glucose meters were bigger than the current larger iPhone, this seems amazing!
The Glu team recently connected with Chief Patient officer Louis Dias about the reveal of the highly anticipated MiniMed 670G product. Let’s hear what he had to say!
GluAnna: Why is the MiniMed 670G system such an important innovation in today’s world?
Louis: This system is important because it has the potential to dramatically change the way individuals and families deal with the highs and lows of diabetes. What we heard from so many of the people who participated in the clinical trial was how different it made them feel both physically and emotionally, giving them that peace of mind that can be so elusive in a life with diabetes.
GluAnna: That’s great! So what is new about this particular model that patients can expect from either older models or users brand new to pump therapy?
Louis: If you have the product in hand, you now have the opportunity to put the device in Auto Mode, where the pump automatically adjusts the delivery of your basal insulin based on readings from our most advanced CGM sensor, called the Guardian® Sensor 3. Auto Mode works to keep you at 120 mg/dl. Instead of you always making the adjustments, testing different basal rates and basal patterns to try to match the amount of insulin you need for different times of day and activities, about every 5 minutes the system determines how much insulin to give you, based on the sensor reading – taking more than a few math problems off of your plate. It also gives you two other SmartGuard™ technology options to help safeguard you from lows. Diabetes isn’t one-size fits all, so we have options available to you. In partnership with your healthcare team, you can customize the experience to best meet your needs.
GluAnna: Wow! Can you tell the community a bit more about the sensor technology? And any updates to the current sensor being made?
Louis: We’ve been continuously working on our sensors to improve the consistency of the sensor experience including the accuracy. The Guardian Sensor 3 (which will be available with the 670G, but currently not the 630G) is the best and most advanced sensor we’ve ever made. It has enhanced accuracy and performance, and can be worn for 7 days. Unlike other sensors available today, this is the only sensor trusted to power a hybrid closed loop system. This will allow you to trust the system too; so you can live with more time in range, and less time worrying about your diabetes.
GluAnna: How will this change the way that I manage my diabetes?
Louis: You will continue to do your usual infusion set changes (every 2-3 days) and sensor site changes (now every 7 days). And each day, you will bolus for your meals and major corrections and calibrate your sensor at least twice (or when the system prompts you).
This is why it’s called a “hybrid” system. You’re still doing some of the work but the system is taking care of many of the tasks you used to have to do with other pump and sensor systems. Kind of like how in a hybrid car, the gasoline engine still does part of the work, but the electric system does the other part to power the car. Our hope is that it brings you the peace of mind and will help to ease some of the weight off of your shoulders.
GluAnna: So, say I eat a high fat meal like pizza and bolus for the carbs. If I creep up overnight, it should ideally correct me back to my target range?
GluAnna: Does it come with remote monitoring, like MiniMed Connect?
Louis: No, not yet. We had to make a choice to be able to quickly get this into the market place and this was a tradeoff we had to make. MiniMed Connect uses a different radio frequency (RF) to communicate with MiniMed® 530G than the MiniMed 670G pump uses. If you’re interested in the connectivity benefits of MiniMed® Connect, we think the MiniMed 530G is a great option.
GluAnna: One of the biggest questions of them all is…Will my insurance cover it and how much will it cost?
Louis: Now that we have FDA approval, we’ll be partnering with insurance providers to drive broad access for this new technology. More information will be shared when it’s available.
GluAnna: Sounds pretty cool. How can I get one?
Louis: We’re thrilled to begin shipping the MiniMed 670G system Spring 2017. If you want to be first in line, check out the Priority Access program. Anyone who purchases a MiniMed 630G system before we ship the MiniMed 670G system will be eligible to upgrade to the new system for $299. You can also take advantage of your end-of-year insurance benefits, and buy your MiniMed 630G system between now and December 31st and pay $0 to upgrade, provided you participate in an approved System Access program. (Restrictions may apply.)
GluAnna: This is awesome news for the diabetes community. What’s coming next?
Louis: We’re continuing to work on additional steps toward a fully automated system. Our ultimate vision is one that would allow you to just live your life without having to deal with your diabetes in the same way you do today. You might have to press a few buttons but wouldn’t have to do things like input carb amounts, for example. We also know that the sensor is very important which is why we are continuously looking at ways to improve sensor performance, sensor life, and comfort. The sensor not only helps to manage your diabetes but your overall wellness, and we’re looking at more ways to help with the holistic health picture. We know that diabetes is just one part.
GluAnna: Are there any other innovations we can start to think about? Will there be other innovations from Medtronic?
Louis: We’re going to continue to put people at the center of everything we do. We want to enable you to live a life with greater freedom and better health, while continuing to make every day a little bit easier on you. In addition to the new pump and sensors, we’re ultimately working to change the way you manage your diabetes. From infusion set innovation, to building on our current connected care solutions and mobile apps.
I’m thrilled to see the MiniMed 670G become available to many of you next year. Thank you for all of the great questions and feedback, we’re listening!
GluAnna: Thanks so much Louis-we look forward to more from Medtronic in 2017!