So last Tuesday I took delivery of my new Minimed 530G "artificial pancreas" system. For the past 1.5 years I had been using a Minimed Paradigm pump in conjunction with a Dexcom Platinum G4 CGM, and I was excited to not only have one less item to carry (since the CGM is integrated into the pump in the 530G), but also to have features like the Treshhold Suspend which can help keep you from going seriously low - in theory.
I've now been using the system for five days, and while the pump works fine (just like the Paradigms), I am about to give up on the integrated CGM. Here are the issues that I've noticed in the past five days, and I am hoping that anyone else out there with experience can tell me whether this is normal, or add feedback, or just give me ANY thoughts...
- Biggest issue is accuracy. The Enlite sensors just don't seem to have it. Like horribly wrong. Frequently. As an example, this morning it gave me a low warning (>60 mg/dl), so I took a finger stick to check. My bs by that? Only 234. And this isn't a one time off issue. It happens to me ALL the time. Maybe twice or three times in one and half years did I have this kind of issue with the Dexcom, whereas I've now had it like 5 times in 5 days with the Enlite sensor.
- Trending. I find this feature extremely useful in a CGM as it helps me predict where my bs is going to go. That being said (and probably as a result of poor accuracy), the Enlite/530G does a poor job of letting me know what is going on. There are so many bloody alarms that I'm starting to ignore them. It is nice that the 530G has an alarm for expecting to go high or low before you actually do, but when that alarm isn't based on any sort of reality, its significantly less helpful.
- Endurance. The Enlite sensor last 6 days as opposed to 7 for the Dexcom G4.The Enlite transmitter has to be recharged frequently from a battery pack. This was okay when I thought it meant that it would last a very long time, but Minimed only guarantees the transmitter for 6 months, which is exactly the same as the Dexcom which does not require any recharging.
- Range. The Enlite has an effective range of 6 feet compared to the G4 which has a range of about 20 feet.
- Burst mode. The Enlite stores bs level data for 40 minutes while out of range and transmits it to the CGM/pump when back in range. Dexcom does not do this. You're either in range or not.
- Style. OK, so this is marginally petty, but it matters to some people. The 530G is still rocking the 80's pager look. Its big. It's heavy. It's monochrome. Basically its ugly. Still having buttons helps when I want to bolus by feel, but a touch-screen pump would look like my phone and not call much attention to itself.
I have been a Minimed pump user for over 10 years and have alway been amazed at how good their customer service has been, but I find myself incredibly disappointed overall with both the 530G and the Enlite sensor system. The feedback I have gotten from Minimed (both regional reps and tech support) is they don't understand why I am having issues. Which is less than comforting. They've really been zero help, and while I will give the 530G system a full two week trial, I honestly believe that I am going to return it, switch back to my Dexcom CGM, AND look at a new pump company.
Overall thoughts on the 530G system? Give it a miss. The idea is great, but in addition to not working as advertised for me, its gross inaccuracy is inexcusably dangerous.
If anyone has has similar issues and resolved them, please let me know. I really do want this system to work.