MiniMed® Connect Now Available from Medtronic for Smartphone Access to Personal Diabetes Data

DUBLIN - September 28, 2015 - Medtronic plc (NYSE:MDT), the global leader in medical technology, today announced U.S. commercial availability of MiniMed Connect, the first and only product to enable people with diabetes to discreetly and conveniently view their insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) information on a smartphone.

The entire press release can be seen here.

I was almost gonna object that it’s not the first thing to use a smartphone but then I saw “pump” and realize that Nightscout and Share only do CGMs…

It sounds morderately neat and certainly useful for parents but my main concern about these things is that my phone is considerably less reliable than my pump/ CGM. The whole spectacle of traveling, dealing with dying batteries (“which thing do I take pictures of??”) sort of situations make me less than enthused about running D-stuff through my phone. “oh, I have to pump, let’s go to Sbux so I can use their wifi…” eeek.

I’d be nervous about that too, though presumably this is connected via Bluetooth…?

bummer it means more hardware! One of the reasons I won’t consider Dexcom is having additional hardware (something besides my pump).

Bummer it’s $200

Bummer (assuming I didn’t mind the $200 expenditure or the fact I’d have to tote more hardware) it’s not for Android. Ditto, bummer for those not put off by either of those issues.

I’m just not sure that I need/want my CGM readings to appear somewhere other than my pump which is easy to view when I’m active–even when biking. When hiking my pump is on my waistband–a quick twist of the pump and a push of the ESCAPE button gives me the glucose value. when biking, the pump is on my collar for easy access–I do the “twist and button press” to see the sensor value on the pump. Just not a problem.

Furthermore, I often don’t take my phone with me when I’m active so having an app wouldn’t be useful.

HOWEVER, since I wear a smartwatch, if I could read my CGM info on THAT, it would be very cool, but again, having more hardware to tote doesn’t really turn me on, so I’d only be willing to spend a bit (certainly far less than $200) of money for that feature, IF it meant no extra hardware, which won’t be possible with the current pumps.

IF real time data is being uploaded to the internet,then I’d expect there to be a wifi or 4G or other radio transmission method to get the data to the internet if the idea is for parents to view realtime data of their children’s glucose levels, so barring that feature, I think this thing has limited value.

CONFIRMED: it is only Bluetooth.

Furthermore, IF I had my phone with me while hiking, etc, it, like my wife’s phone, would have another app open and onscreen for navigation. So even if it made ANY sense to go to all this trouble and expense to have this Connect thing, it wouldn’t be practical to use a phone instead of the pump screen, to view my CGM readings. All in all, I think this product was ill-conceived–much like MM’s inability to provide a water-proof pump after all the LYING to the public about how the 511 was watertight. We, like others, bought the 511, expecting that we could spend some time in the water without fear of damage, by noooooo–MM sent us all letters warning us not to get the pump wet. Disgusting way for a company to treat its customers. In all the intervening years, they had not brought out a water tight pump. The 640G purportedly is water tight, but oh, gee, that’s not available yet in the US. Never trust MM to get it right, is my motto. If I liked the features overall, of a competitor’s pump, I would buy it, but I still prefer the core features of the MM and the 640G hopefully will be a HUGE improvement over their previous pumps. So here I sit, impatient for the FDA to approve it.

Yes, I had the same reflexive response.

As “me too” products go, I am emphatically “meh” about this shtuff from Medtronic. My impression is that it has “Oh, crap! We need to have one of those too!” written on it in glowing neon letters.

One of the few debatable advantages Medtronic has over Dexcom is their integration of CGM & pump. Not so much in their current US offering(s) but more so with the 630G outside the US. The MiniMed Connect does a 180 and goes in the other direction, no doubt as an expediency to simply get it to the market. Frankly, I find it embarrassing. It’s like an older man with a bad toupee who seems to think he can actually pass as something he really isn’t. :disappointed:

Granted, I am sure it fills some niche for people for whom it actually is useful. But I don’t think it does it with any elegance of physical design.

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Well, to digress completely, one possible not really a solution but maybe, possibly, sometimes better than a dead phone battery is an external battery pack. At the moment the market seems to have been flooded to the point where maybe the cost might be reasonable. But that’s, of course, a personal judgement call.

The trick is to get one which doesn’t have a junk battery which dies after a few uses. I don’t think I have anything useful to offer along those lines.