Medtronic is a global company that specializes in medical technology, focusing on “alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world.” The company’s goal is to have a holistic diabetes management type of care to improve outcomes, “so people living with diabetes can enjoy greater freedom and better health.”
On June 5, 2015, Medtronic announced that the FDA provided clearance of MiniMed® Connect and that their product will be available on the market in the fall. The device is now available for purchase. MiniMed Connect is a $199 keychain device that is also a smartphone app for patients with diabetes. Unfortunately, this product is currently not covered by insurance. MiniMed Connect is “the first product to enable people with diabetes to discreetly and conveniently view their insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) data on a smartphone.” The mobile connectability allows for remote monitoring and text message notifications in cases of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. This product will also enable healthcare professionals to have “more convenient access to more comprehensive patient data so they can adjust their patients’ care plans.”
MiniMed Connect is currently available with iOs devices. Android users will also be able to download this app in the near future since Samsung is working with Medtronic to develop an app that is compatible with android phones. With web access, the MiniMed Connect “securely transmits pump and sensor glucose data from the patient’s MiniMed insulin pump to the app and web display, which shows real-time sensor glucose and insulin information on the phone.” There is also an option for text notifications to loved ones for when the patient’s glucose values are out of normal range or if something is wrong with the pump.
The idea behind MiniMed Connect is that the entire care team can have access to the patient’s diabetes data to make informed decisions to achieve better outcomes for the patient. The data will automatically upload to Medtronic’s web-based CareLink software, where it can be viewed with web access.
In addition, Dexcom’s G5 mobile is also a connectivity device and is also available in the market. These medical devices from Dexcom and Medtronic allow the patient to view their data on their phone and the caregivers to closely monitor, and the automatic data upload allows doctors to be able to gain access to the patient’s data more conveniently, which allows for better patient care.
Some of the key benefits include:
- Patients can view their data within the MiniMed Connect app on an iPhone or iPod Touch without pulling out their pump (e.g., when the pump is buried in clothing). The app’s interface is much better than the pump for looking at the current glucose value, trend, and insulin-on-board.
- Caregivers can remotely monitor pump and CGM data, similar to Dexcom Share and Nightscout.
- Automatic upload of pump/CGM data to CareLink, saving time and hassle for patients and providers. No other product can upload data from both devices automatically.
- Text notifications to loved ones for glucose levels outside of normal range.
- MiniMed Connect is only currently available for iPhones. Samsung is working on developing an app for android phones.
- MiniMed Connect will allow for better patient care by allow patients with diabetes to be more aware of their glucose levels and allowing caregivers to closely monitor the patient’s current status.
Sheldon A and Warren J. News Release: Medtronic Receives FDA Clearance of Minimed Connect for More Convenient Access to Personal Diabetes Data. Medtronic.com, October 2015.