The Freestyle Navigator by Abbott

First off, I’ll ask you to follow this link to Abbott’s website, for an excellent description of the Navigator, and a simulator that lets you try out all the buttons on the receiver.

www.freestylenavigator.com/ab_nav/

Initial Setup

Abbott does not sell the navigator itself, it has a number of distributors. I got mine from Smith’s medical, as they are offering a large discount on it to their customers. The ordering process went very smoothly, I downloaded the necessary forms in pdf format, filled out my part and dropped the forms off at my doctors office. A few days later the Navigator was shipped.

Due to my remote location, and my experience level, I decided to skip having a trainer come here. I read the manual online ahead of time, and tried out the simulator online, which told me tons of things. It’s really good, I found no differences at all between how the simulator works and the real thing, as far as how to use it.

Due to the cost of sensors, I did decide to give a call to tech support when I was ready to insert sensors, so they could double check me to make sure I did not miss a step or something else equally dumb.

The call to tech support was answered promptly, I gave them my info and status. The lady answering the phone was not fully trained, and said so, and said there were 2 qualified people there and both were helping people and I would get a call back in 15 minutes. I got a call in about 5 minutes. This is a new product, they are still ramping up, I was very satisfied with this.
I had installed the batteries and set the clock. I elected to put the sensor in my left arm. I found this to be a bit awkward, but with the aid of a mirror on the wall it went ok. A little bit of bleeding, but that stopped rapidly. Did it hurt? Much less than a fingerstick :).

After installing the sensor, and putting the transmitter on the mount that holds the transmitter and sensor, the transmitter and receiver started talking to each other in a couple of minutes. This meant I was done until calibration time, about 10 hours later.
Calibration is not on a 10 hour timer, but rather, the navigator keeps testing and looking at the results until it is really stable, which takes about 10 hours. In my case it was within about 5 minutes of 10 hours.

Calibration

Ok, come morning it was time to calibrate. I was low this morning, which is extremely rare for me, but I know why. I have recently been able to increase my walking, and did 3 miles yesterday which drove my glucose down all day.

So, I took a glucose tab, and not long afterword, did the calibration, knowing full well I did not have a stable glucose as you are supposed to have when you calibrate. I wanted to really test the system.

The system started working a few minutes after I did the calibration. I was getting readings 58 points higher that my glucose meter said. I ate, the navigator gradually went up, as expected. Rock stable curve on the graph, no false readings, just not calibrated right yet.

2 hrs later was time for the second calibration. I did this, the system “noticed” it was way off, corrected the readings over a period of 5 - 10 minutes. It gave a reading of 102. My one touch meter used on my arm said 96. It also told me I would have to calibrate again in two hours, which is exactly the way things should be done, IMO. The documentation says you [B]may[/B] be asked to calibrate again, in this situation it should.
Once I do this, the next one will be tomorrow morning (24 hrs) and then again on day 3 in the morning.

The sensors expire in November.

My Impressions

At this point I am extremely impressed with how it works.

The belt clip holds the receiver snugly. It does not swivel.
The neoprene cover (skin ?) is really nice, I expect that is what I will be using at all times.

BTW, the calibration at 2 hrs showed 3 pts difference between freestyle finger test and onetouch arm test (I was very stable).
Redoing the second calibration 2 hrs later, Navigator said 108, fingerstick freestyle said 98.
2 minutes later, my Navigator says 98 (it adjusted itself)

Accuracy

I did 15 comparison tests, against my onetouch ultra 2, alternate site testing on my arm.

Equal values reproted 3
Difference of 2 points or less 4
Difference of 3 to 5 points 4
Difference of 6 to 10 points 2
Difference of 10 to 13 points 2

Further observations:

The Navigator seems to lag a bit further behind than my alternate site testing on my arm, which itself has a lag compared to finger testing. This is somewhat offset by the ability of the system to predict when you will go low, up to a half hour ahead of time. The difference between arm testing and the navigator (on my arm) has not exceeded 13 points, so far, and the lower the rate of change, the closer the navigator is to matching my arm testing.

Data Communications

The receiver both sends and receives in bluetooth. The software for data management on your computer is awaiting FDA approval, they could not submit it until the Navigator was approved.

A note about connectivity between the transmitter and receiver. The specifications say it should work when the transmitter and receiver are up to 10 feet apart. I am happy to report I am finding it works further away than that. I think the actual Bluetooth specification itself calls for 30 feet. I have not measured this, and it would depend on the environment you are in anyway. I will say that in my experience, if the receiver is in the same room I am in, it has worked without fail.

Screen Viewability

In good lighting, the screen is fine indoors. No artificial lighting, daytime, indoors, it could stand to be a bit brighter, but is fine with backlighting turned on. Outdoors - absolutely great in bright sunlight, with or without sunglasses (that is unusual for displays).

Thanks for sharing your experiences Lloyd! I’m glad that they have been so positive. It really does sound amazing. Please keep us posted on your thoughts as you have more experience with it.

I also use the Cozmo insulin pump and heard about this deal. I still don’t think it’s an option for me with the discount. Is there any discount for the sensors? Or just for the start up kit?

Thanks for the great write-up Lloyd! What do you think of the size of the sensor/transmitter? Also, is it possible to continue wearing your current sensor/transmitter while you insert and callibrate a new one, or are you always “stuck” with a 10 hour callibration each time you change sensors?

I’m a Cozmo pumper, and lean towards this CGM except for the size issue and the callibration time. Like Kristin, I’m not sure I’m ready/able to financially commit to the cost of the sensors.

What is the cost?
I have been denied by my insurance company and I am awaiting the results of my third party external appeal for the CGMS I went to the site but could not locate the price.

When I emailed Abbott to find out the price, they told me:
Receiver and transmitter: between $960 and $1040
Six sensors (a month’s supply): between $360 and $390

For a good comparison of CGMS, click here.

I don’t know what the price is with the Deltec Cozmo discount.

The sensors are 25% off from Smith’s Medical.
The size of the sensor transmitter is a little large, but it is so light it feels like an empty plastic shell.
During the 10 hours or so, the system is reading the sensor and checking to see if it is working properly and it is up to snuff. It takes that long. I suggest sleeping during the 10 hours :slight_smile:
The cost is $550 US plus $62.25 each for 6 sensors, sold in a 6 pack which would last for a month of continuous use. The $550 is $700 cash discount.

The prices I gave are from Smith’s Medical, one of Abbotts dealers, you have to be a customer of smiths (cozmo pump, or infusion sets etc.).

I also found out that the Navigator will use co-pilot as data management software, when it gets approved.

-Lloyd

I have submitted my paperwork for the Navigator, and regardless of insurance’s response (which I haven’t yet received), my husband and I decided we would get me one. I can’t wait. Thank you for sharing a hands-on experience of it!

Expect a little blood when you insert the sensor. Not squirting, but running down your arm for a minute or two. Install it near a sink, and if you put it on your arm like I do, a mirror is a great help in placement.

Best Wishes
-Lloyd