Guardian Connect

Real-World Data from Medtronic's Guardian Connect & Sugar.IQ Shows Improved Outcomes

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This week at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Annual Meeting, Medtronic announced real-world data on its Guardian Connect continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system and Sugar.IQ diabetes assistant app. The Guardian Connect system and Sugar.IQ app empower people using multiple daily injections (MDI) to more proactively manage their diabetes with meaningful, personalized insights. The real-world data was recorded by users of the Guardian Connect CGM paired with the Sugar.IQ.

Sugar.IQ diabetes assistant is a separate app that continually analyzes how an individual's glucose levels respond to food intake, insulin dosages, daily routines, and other factors. The Sugar.IQ app combines data from the Guardian Connect CGM system with artificial intelligence technology from IBM Watson Health to detect important patterns and trends for people with diabetes and help them make more informed decisions on how to better manage glucose levels and stay within target range.

The data showed that people using the Guardian Connect system with the Sugar.IQ app experienced 4.1% more Time in Range (63.4%) compared to Guardian Connect alone (59.3%), which represents about one extra hour per day. And those who also used the optional Glycemic Assist feature to review their response to specific foods increased Time in Range by an additional 4% compared to those not using that feature.

Learn more from the official Medtronic press release.

Medtronic Moves Beyond A1C with CGM

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In early April, Medtronic entered into a "value-based outcomes agreement" with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, and the two organizations have agreed to use a metric other than the gold standard A1C test to measure members' success using the device. A Medtronic spokeswoman recently told Diabetes Mine that Guardian Connect has become the first-ever stand-alone CGM using "Time in Range" as the key metric. Many advocates and innovators in the diabetes community have been pushing to move "beyond A1C.”

Medtronic's press release about their "Time in Range" metric explains:

"Time in Range (TIR) is a standard measurement in diabetes management that tracks the amount of time a person’s glucose is in their target range with 70-180 mg/dL being the standard range. Spending more Time in Range helps minimize both short- and long-term health complications from going too high or low. Results from an analysis of people who used the predictive alerts feature on the Guardian Connect system showed that they experienced fewer high events 39 percent of the time (vs. 10% without alerts) and fewer low events 60% of the time (vs. 33% without alerts)."

Medtronic also has been promoting their Time in Range infographic:

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Diabetes Mine explained how Medtronic's reimbursements will work with Blue Cross Blue Shield:

"With Blue Cross Blue Shield, they are actually tying insurance payments to the amount of time users spend in this healthy glucose range -- an approach known as "value-based payments." So if a Medtronic CGM user does not manage to stay in that ideal 70-180 mg/dL range for a certain amount of time when using the device, then Medtronic will actually pay back the cost to the insurance company."

Learn more from Medtronic.

Medtronic’s Guardian Connect CGM Receives FDA Approval

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We have big news to share from Medtronic – their long-awaited standalone CGM has received FDA approval. Medtronic’s Guardian Connect is comprised of three parts: a thin sensor, a small plastic transmitter attached to the sensor, and the Guardian Connect app on a compatible iOS device. It transmits directly to the iPhone without using another receiver.

The Guardian Connect system is designed to help people, ages 14 to 75, who are using multiple daily injections (MDIs). Although it does not work directly with insulin pumps, Medtronic’s standalone CGM will be the only one on the market to give alerts for potential high or low glucose events up to 60 minutes in advance. The Guardian Connect system is expected to become available by July 2018, and as early as May 2018.

Benefits of the Guardian Connect system include:

  • Customized 1 hour predictive alerts – from 10 minutes up to 1 hour ahead gives you time to respond
  • Free 24-hour SMS alerts (and for up to 5 care people)
  • Easy-to-share blood glucose readings 
  • Reduced risks of hypoglycemia and more time “in-range”
  • Sleek design – marketed for an active lifestyle, half the weight of other real-time CGM systems on the market
  • Waterproof – can be submerged for up to 2.4 meters (7.5 feet) for 10-minute periods
  • Access to the Sugar.IQ system – smart diabetes assistant that looks at what affects BGLs
  • Rechargeable, re-useable, long-life technology

This news is exciting, because it means expanded options for people with diabetes when it comes to CGM.

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