Thursday, 21 November 2013


Yesterday I went to visit the lovely folks from Medtronic, with other diabetes bloggers and patient advocates, to give feedback that would help them identify areas they could improve on and how they can support the people who use (or are thinking of using) their products.
Having never used a Medtronic product in my life (sorry guys), I was a little nervous about what they would expect from me. How could I give feedback on products that I hadn't used? But there was the promise of a free lunch, and also the opportunity to share my ideas on what I thought could help to improve people's lives.

I couldn't turn down an opportunity like that!

So myself and fellow Portsmouth diabetes blogger, Anna (@Type1diabetesblog), battled the elements and made our way to Watford for the afternoon. The free lunch was good... but the focus group was even better :) I learnt a lot about the Minimed Veo (insulin pump) and how it works with their Enlite CGM sensors (continuous glucose monitor) to suspend a persons insulin for up to 2 hours when the CGM detects that they are heading towards a hypo. Something that was made clear from the word go is that the user can override this 2 hour period if they want to pump to carry on delivering insulin. *phew*

Other information that we were given is that the Minimed is now the only system clinically proven to significantly reduce hypoglycaemic events...

This has resulted in:

  • 32% reduction in night time hypos
  • 38% less severity and duration of night time hypos
  • 40% less values in the hypo range at night
  • 0 severe hypos
Next we moved on to Medtronic's Enlite CGMs, and the other patients in the room shared their experiences of using of them (or other brands). My ears pricked up when hearing stories about how much people's HbA1c has improved, hypos are caught much earlier, sleeping is made much easier and isn't interrupted unless necessary and their lives in general have been improved by the added information that CGMs give.

I had CGM jealousy. I stared at everyone's CGMs and wanted one for myself... I was the only person who didn't have one. If I could have found Medtronic's stash of Minimeds and CGMs the I probably would have raided it and filled my bag.

I have a current a1c of 9.9 and I wake up during the night to check my blood sugars and make sure I'm not heading towards a hypo. I'm working my bum off to get a lower a1c and it's exhausting at times. Another issue that I have is that I find it incredibly hard to predict where my blood sugars are heading just by seeing a number once every few hours. Is it going up? Going down? Staying where it is? I can't see what it's doing, so I just have to make the most educated guess I can... And as you can imagine, that isn't always right.


We were then told about a special promotion that Medtronic are offering to Minimed users who aren't currently using a CGM. I've popped some links at the bottom of the page if you wanted to take a look.
Finally (and the part that I could really contribute something to) we were asked about the best ways Medtronic could engage with patients. Obviously I boasted about the joys and benefits of social media, in particular twitter facebook YouTube and blogs, and hopefully something can come of that.
Ninjabetic x
Disclaimer: Medtronic haven't asked me to talk about their products in this blog post. Anything written in this blog post are my own thoughts and opinions and not those of Medtronic.


© Ninjabetic

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