Extra! Extra! Read All About It... if you haven't already...
MiniMed's exciting new combo of the MiniMed Paradigm insulin pump and the company's REAL-Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) System was approved by the FDA this week. As the JDRF will tell you, this is the closest we've gotten to an artificial pancreas -- minus the fully automated "closed loop" portion -- but still a huge step forward.
Now I know why my local D-research center hasn't returned my phone calls about participating in clinical trials for this system (we'd heard rumors they were looking for adults not yet on the pump); I guess they were finished testing (!)
But I have seen the MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time System up close and personal, because a teenager in my local support group was part of the youth study. Essentially it's the MiniMed Paradigm 522 or 722 insulin pump, worn along with a separate three-day sensor that takes continuous glucose readings and sends the data to the pump via advanced radio frequency (RF) wireless technology.
Despite the huge advantages of real-time glucose readings that your pump can display, we didn't think the system looked too comfortable. That's a bunch of technology adhered to your tummy! (see photo). But the kid wearing it was not perturbed by the double-infusion-site issue. He says it's been fantastic knowing what's happening when with his glucose. The alarm's apparently even beeped him awake at night before he got dangerously low -- one of the biggest ongoing problems for active Type 1 children, I understand.
Anyway, MiniMed's again validated its position on the cutting edge of insulin-delivery technology.
The REAL-Time continuous glucose monitoring kit will not be available until summer (sold separately as a cash pay item, not covered by most insurance plans). But the company's offering a special upgrade program for anyone who purchased a Paradigm 522 or 722 pump between April 10 and June 19 of this year. For $1,000, those folks can get started with the CGM add-on right away. I'm sure we'll be hearing reports from one of my fellow OC bloggers on this soon.