The Wall Street Journal recently featured a story that explains why and how more U.S. diabetes patients are using continuous glucose monitors (CGM) to track their blood sugar. Almost 840,000 patients in the U.S. used the devices as of March 31, more than double the 389,000 using them at the end of 2017, according to Seagrove Partners LLC, a health-care research and consulting firm. The Journal's article has a great diagram showing how CGM works and talks about the importance of this technology to improve quality of life for many people with diabetes.
Medtronic's next-gen hybrid closed loop system will be the Minimed 780G, designed to help patients enjoy greater freedom and less burdens. Currently, the 780G is being studied in an in-home trial with 350 adult and pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes participating, using the device over a three-month period. The in-home study is estimated to be completed in January of 2020, with the results presented in July, 2020.
What should you expect from the new Medtronic system?
New vertical "modern" look
Automatic correction bolusing
A new algorithm, that according to Medtronic is more accurate and reliable
A function to automatically adjust for missed meals
Adjustable target range, down to 100 mg/dL
Option for remote software updates
Stay tuned for a launch date and other news on the Minimed 780G!
The diabetes community is excited about positive results from two Tandem studies that were announced earlier this week. Data from the studies has demonstrated that Tandem's advanced hybrid closed-loop system has achieved the primary outcome of increasing time in range (70-180 mg/dL) without any severe hypoglycemic events for both adult and pediatric age groups.
Tandem's t:slim X2 insulin pump with Control-IQ technology utilizes Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensor values to predict glucose levels and adjust insulin delivery to prevent highs and lows, while still allowing the user to manually bolus for meals. The system also automates correction boluses, a feature not commercially available today on automated insulin delivery devices.
Read the entire press release for many more details on the studies and outcomes. This news supports Tandem as the company moves toward a future FDA approval on their closed loop system, expected later this year.
Insulet's Omnipod DASH is now officially available in the United States. The Omnipod DASH™ System combines a tubeless, waterproof, wearable Pod that provides up to 72 hours of non-stop insulin with an easy-to-use, touch-screen, Bluetooth®-enabled Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) that looks like a normal smartphone. The Pod can be worn anywhere you would administer an injection. Placement is easy, completed with the touch of a button and without even seeing a needle. The DASH system is available with limited release right now, and Healthy Living anticipates providing the system at the end of this year or early in 2020.
There are two components to the DASH system.
The Pod is a small, waterproof device that you fill with insulin and wear directly on your body.
The Pod includes a small, flexible cannula that inserts automatically with the push of a button.
The Pod communicates wirelessly with the Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) to program insulin delivery.
The Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM):
Multiple PDM features support how you control your insulin.
The system includes two mobile apps and accompanying widgets.
Compatibility with other systems simplifies the tracking and recording of data.
Beyond Type 1 addresses the updates in the Omnipod DASH system:
What’s New in the DASH™ System?
Updated PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) – The handheld portion of the Omnipod Insulin Management System got an update and will feature a color touchscreen display.
Bluetooth wireless technology – DASH™ PDM and Pod will communicate via Bluetooth, laying the groundwork for current and future integrations with compatible technology – like meters, CGM, and management apps.
Meter integration – DASH™ will be optimized for use with CONTOUR® NEXT ONE Blood Glucose Meter for the transfer of blood glucose readings to the PDM’s bolus calculator via Bluetooth – The PDM will no longer have a built-in BGM.
Diabetes management app integrations – The Omnipod Display and Omnipod View apps will provide users and their caregivers easy access to their insulin therapy information on their smartphones.
Omnipod DISPLAY allows users to discreetly monitor their PDM data on their smartphones.
Omnipod DISPLAY on a smartphone will include a “Find My PDM” feature.
Omnipod VIEW allows parents and caregivers to monitor their loved ones’ diabetes more easily.
The iOS Today View widget allows users and their care teams to see their or their loved ones’ PDM and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) data on one smartphone screen with one swipe.
New Pods – The DASH™ pods will look and work the same, but have been updated for Bluetooth compatibility with the DASH™ PDM. Old pods will not work with the new PDM.
Rechargeable Battery – The DASH™ PDM will require recharging of its lithium ion battery, replacing the AAA batteries used in current Omnipod PDMs.
Payment Structure – The DASH™ PDM will be offered at no cost with the purchase of Pods.
Researching your pump options? Here are some helpful tools from Tandem and Medtronic to help you understand the benefits of different insulin pumps on the market.
t:simulator App from Tandem
With the App, you can experience the touchscreen interface of the Tandem t:slim X2 Insulin Pump with Basal-IQ Technology using a smartphone or tablet. You can also enable "Tool Tips" for a tour of the pump's key features. The App provides info about the pump's technical specifications and access to a glossary of common terms for better understanding.
Download the t:simulator App at the bottom of this page.
MiniMed 670G System Simulator from Medtronic
This application provides step-by-step instructions on the different features of the 670G and 630G insulin pumps. There are training resources for both systems and the capability to explore the insulin pump through different functionality scenarios. You will find device feature videos that give more info about the Auto Mode and Suspend Before Low features.
Download the MiniMed System Simulator through Google Play or on the Apple App Store.
Many more choices for insulin pumps and CGM are becoming available to Medicare members as diabetes technologies continue to progress. And even more exciting, many companies are starting to work together more closely to integrate their separate insulin pump and CGM systems to create even greater advancements. In today's post, we want to point out the benefits of combining the Tandem t:slim X2 insulin pump with Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) for better diabetes management.
The t:slim X2 pump can be upgraded when new technologies and features become available.
For example, Medicare members who qualify can currently access the Dexcom G5 CGM system, and we anticipate the more advanced Dexcom G6 system will be available to Medicare members on April 1st. If a patient is currently using the t:slim pump with a G5 system and upgrades to using the G6 system, all the patient will need to do is update his or her t:slim X2 pump with the latest software OR if they already have the t:slim pump with Basal IQ, they can integrate their Dexcom G6 after viewing a brief online training video. This ability to upgrade the insulin pump's software is unique to Tandem systems.
Medicare members are eligible for a new pump every five years, and in that time span there can be many advancements in diabetes technologies that can potentially leave a user behind on newer, beneficial improvements.
As we mentioned, with the Tandem t:slim pump, a Medicare member can easily update the pump to keep it current with the latest technology. This will soon prove a great benefit as we anticipate Tandem to release their "Control iQ" feature within the year. This will allow the pump, when paired with the Dexcom G6 system, to autonomously deliver more insulin when blood glucose levels are high.
The Tandem t:slim is an easy-to-read, color touchscreen pump - and it is super easy to use.
Want to try it out for yourself? Tandem offers a free simulator app for Medicare members to install on iPhone or Android devices right now. This simulator app provides users with the opportunity to test the experience of using the pump along with the Dexcom G6 system before deciding to make the purchase.
Learn more about the Dexcom G6 CGM system here.
The Tandem t:slim X2 has been approved by the U.S. FDA as an "interoperable" insulin pump. An interoperable pump can be used with different components that make up diabetes therapy systems, allowing patients to tailor their diabetes management to their individual device preferences, which opens up huge future possibilities for closed-loop systems and other management technologies. In 2018, the Dexcom G6 was designated the first interoperable continuous glucose monitor by the FDA.
Read the full press release from the FDA here.
The Future of Tandem
In November, Diatribe wrote a fantastic article about what's on the horizon for Tandem, including the Control-IQ hybrid closed loop, the "interoperable" pump designation, the t:connect mobile app, and the t:sport patch pump with hybrid wear.
The New Year is right around the corner, and we think this is the perfect time to let you know that when January 1, 2019 rolls around, we will be able to provide test strips and related diabetes supplies to Medicare members. You may already be getting your insulin pump supplies or CGM supplies from us, or maybe you are just meeting Healthy Living. Whatever your background, we hope that you will consider us for your diabetes testing supply needs!
Healthy Living currently provides insulin pumps, pump supplies, and continuous glucose monitors (CGM) and supplies to Medicare members throughout the United States. If customers are already enrolled with us for pump or CGM supplies, it is easy for us to add testing supplies to existing 90-day orders...and new patients can easily enroll using our enrollment form.
Healthy Living Medical Supply specializes in diabetes, with a compassionate, experienced, and understanding customer care team. We are here and ready to help at 866.779.8512 (phone) or 248.577.9903 (text).
Thinking about a new pump? These websites have discussion forums where people share their experience using different insulin pumps, CGM systems, and other diabetes supplies. They are excellent independent resources to use when making a decision on what products to use, and they are also a great way to connect with other parents and people with diabetes to share experiences, resources, and support.
This sounds stupidly easy. But it’s so effective. And looking at my pump, I can see how many times it kicks Basal IQ into action so I can continue to exercise, or snuggle my kid, or drive my car, or sleep. You know, basic stuff that humans do. – Kerri, six until me
Tandem Basal-IQ Technology is wowing all around. Available as part of the t:slim X2 Insulin Pump and integrated with the new Dexcom G6 CGM, Basal-IQ Technology predicts and helps prevent lows, suspending insulin delivery before they happen. Expect less time low: there was a 31% relative reduction overall in sensor time below 70 mg/dL when clinical study participants used Basal-IQ Technology. Zero fingersticks are required for mealtime dosing or calibration when using Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring.
The X2 pump is discreet and easy to use. It features a large, color touchscreen interface for carb counting, bolusing, and viewing blood glucose trends – and it’s the smallest available pump. The Tandem t:slim X2 also offers upgradeable software, so when new features become available, the pump can be updated using a personal computer. You can also share blood glucose information with family members and other key members of the support team via Dexcom share app.
Check out the Tandem video or try out the system via the simulator app. Contact the Healthy Living Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team to find out more about getting started at 866.779.8512, Option 2 (phone) or 248.577.9903 (text).
It's an excellent time time of year to go on an insulin pump, upgrade an out-of-warranty pump, or start using CGM...or at least investigate your options! For many people on commercial health insurance plans, deductibles are satisfied and reset on January 1st of the new year. Reach out to the Healthy Living Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team for a no-cost insurance verification to find out more about your coverage and costs. Reach us at 866.779.8512, Option 2 (phone), 248.577.9903 (text), or via chat at myhlms.com.
To find out more about the benefits of these technologies and the products that we offer, visit:
I just learned about what a fascinating and inspiring man Earl Bakken was. He co-founded Medtronic in 1949 with the unassuming goal of repairing medical equipment. But in the mid-50s, a heart surgeon in Minneapolis asked Bakken to create a pacemaker that didn’t need to be plugged in, and a few weeks later, he had invented a wearable pacemaker powered by a battery. Mr. Bakken was an inventor from an early age, and his worked sustained him late into his life. Bakken died on October 21 at the age of 94, and back in 2010 he was using his second pacemaker and third or fourth insulin pump!
Please take a moment to read the lovely Wall Street Journal article that commemorates Bakken’s life. I found this part especially interesting:
He worried that children no longer take gadgets apart. Even engineers “never get the sense of the actual object they’re designing on a screen,” he wrote. “They make faulty assumptions because they have never taken the real thing apart and put it back together again. They’ve never jiggled it in their hand, never gotten a feel for its density and heft, never lifted it to their nose and smelled it. What a pity for them—and maybe for the rest of us as well.”
We are thankful today to Medtronic Diabetes for providing insulin pump and CGM technology to many of our patients. Just like their founder, they are in the business of changing lives.
We came across a noteworthy blog on from Blue Cross Blue Shield about successfully managing diabetes – with regular monitoring and careful planning. It’s definitely worth a read! The article encourages two main action steps:
Become a Master at Monitoring – including diet, exercise, blood sugar levels, and medicine
Make Sure to Get Regular Check-Ups – including a wellness check-up every 3-6 months, making sure shots are current, and staying on top of appropriate testing
Healthy Living accepts Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan insurance (as well as many others) for insulin pumps, CGM, and diabetes testing supplies. We’re here to help when you need us at 866.779.8512 (phone), 248.577.9903 (text), and via chat at myhlms.com.
A professor at the University of Central Florida, Elizabeth Brisbois, is working to develop a cannula that can be left in place for as long as 30 days while effectively delivering insulin into the body. Cannulas are small tubes that are inserted beneath the skin to deliver insulin into the body as part of an insulin pump system. The cannula can either be part of the infusion set or attached to the actual insulin pump. Normally, over time, the body’s immune system attacks the cannula, with cells creating a film around the cannula that begins to inhibit proper insulin delivery. That is why infusion sets normally need to be changed every two to three days to reduce the risk of infection.
Brisbois’ goal is to create cannulas that have a lower risk of infection and inflammation, with reduced pain and inconvenience for patients. She and her team are developing cannulas that release nitric oxide, a molecule that can kill bacteria. Nitric oxide is also produced in the body to fight off germs and has an important role in wound healing.
This advance could significantly increase quality of life for people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Brisbois and her team are funded by a recent grant from the JDRF and are collaborating with researchers at the University of Georgia. Learn more about the cannula research here.
Despite the weather (pouring rain all day!), the Grunberger Diabetes Institute’s Patient Appreciation Day on Saturday, August 25 had an awesome turnout! Over 100 patients attended the event outside Dr. Grunberger’s office -- a fun, educational opportunity to understand what resources are available for diabetes care. Jennifer from Healthy Living Medical Supply attended the event, along with many of our manufacturer partners representing CGM and insulin pump solutions. The Grunberger Diabetes Institute also served food and sponsored a raffle for patients and guests.
Dr. George Grunberger is internationally renowned for his work with people with diabetes. His office is located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and offers cutting-edge diabetes and endocrine problems management, one-stop service for comprehensive care, a multidisciplinary team, and participation in research studies. Learn more about the Grunberger Diabetes Institute and check out their blog.
The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) annual conference just passed in Baltimore, Maryland. Healthy Living was there to meet diabetes educators and product manufacturers and to simply learn. Educators are in the trenches with patients and their families, teaching them the skills to be successful and guiding them in the various technologies and tools used to manage the disease.
Diabetes Educator of the Year Award - Jane K. Dickinson, RN, PhD, CDE
Lifetime Achievement Award - Keith Campbell, RPh, FASHP, CDE, FAAD (posthumous award)
Allene Van Son Distinguished Service Award - Malinda Peeples, RN, MS, CDE, FAADE
2018 Strategic Initiative Award – Jasmine Gonzalvo, PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM, CDE, LDE, FAADE
Rising Star Awards - Melanie L. Duran, RN, BSN, CDE and Clipper F. Young, PharmD, MPH, BC-ADM, CDE
We support the work of diabetes educators on a daily basis by providing them with meter kits to use for new Healthy Living patients in the clinic during training. Healthy Living also reinforces the teaching of diabetes educators by making sure our patients receive refills for continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) supplies, insulin pump supplies, and testing supplies on time, every 30 or 90 days (depending on the patient’s insurance plan).
What it comes down to is that patients can have the best technology in the world, but if they don’t have education, they won’t be able to take full advantage of an insulin pump or CGM system. Read the article New Diabetes Technology Options Can Ease Disease Management, but Education Key for more information about this. Diabetes educators are absolutely essential to the well-being and successful treatment plans of people with diabetes.
Healthy Living has long provided insulin pumps and insulin pump supplies to Medicare members as a durable medical equipment (DME) benefit, and today we're pleased to announce that we're accepting referrals for Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) therapy for Medicare members as well! Currently, the Dexcom G5 continuous glucose monitoring system has been approved for Medicare members.
A continuous glucose monitor is a small, wearable device system that tracks your glucose throughout the day and night, notifying you of highs and lows so you can take action when needed. The Dexcom G5 CGM system is made up of three key components: a sensor that measures your glucose levels, a transmitter to wirelessly send your glucose data to your smart device or receiver, and a display device where you can see when your glucose is trending high, low, or just right. The display device can be either a compatible smart device with the Dexcom G5 Mobile app or the Dexcom G5 Mobile Receiver.
What are the benefits of CGM?
- With CGM, you’ll reduce your daily fingersticks dramatically, continuing them only for calibration of the CGM.
- The CGM system monitors blood glucose levels in the interstitial tissue every five minutes, offering much more information than four to eight finger sticks per day.
- CGM is very useful when you are struggling with nighttime lows, providing alarms and alerts.
- Dexcom sensors and transmitters are water-resistant. They are relatively small and discreet to wear.
- With Dexcom G5 Mobile, dynamic glucose data can be accessed and shared safely and conveniently to your smart phone device.
Call us today at 866.779.8512 (Option 2) or fill out our expedited enrollment form online to learn more about your Medicare insurance coverage, and start the process for receiving CGM supplies from Healthy Living. We’re here to help!
One of our regular features on the Healthy Living Medical Supply Blog is our “What We’re Reading” segment where we shine the spotlight on resources that we find particularly relevant to our employees and customers. One such resource is Health Alliance Plan of Michigan’s “Balanced Living Blog,” which is routinely updated with excellent ideas and suggestions for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Subscribe to blog updates by visiting the site and clicking the email subscribe link.
Below you’ll find links to four articles that we found particularly interesting, all of which relate to diabetes, which is our specialty.
Healthy Living Medical Supply is in network with Health Alliance Plan of Michigan for diabetes testing supplies, insulin pumps, insulin pump supplies, continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGM) – if you are a Health Alliance Plan of Michigan member and are looking for diabetes related supplies delivered to your doorstep with great customer care, give us a call at 866.779.8512 or send us a text message at 248.577.9903 to start the easy enrollment process.
Join Healthy Living at the 11th Annual JDRF TypeOneNation Summit! The Metro Detroit & Southeast Michigan Summit will take place on Saturday, May 12, in Belleville from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm. This free, educational event will bring together people of all ages and stages of type 1 diabetes, their loved ones, and the medical community. This year’s theme is “Living with Diabetes: A Family Day of Inspiration, Hope, and Education.” Register here.
The TypeOneNation Summit was developed by a group of leading endocrinologists and diabetes educators. This one-day event will be full of education, information, and inspiration. Keynote Presenters include Dr. Alvin C. Powers and Dr. Korey K. Hood. In addition, there will be many break-out workshops and presentations on topics relevant to individuals and families living with T1D.
The JDRF Summit Youth Program will welcome pro-snowboarder Sean Busby. He is the founder of Riding On Insulin and will talk, inspire, and share his experiences with kids and teens.
We’ll have a table in the sponsor area, so please come and say hello!! We're in network with most major insurances for insulin pumps, insulin pumps supplies, continuous glucose monitoring systems ("CGM"), and testing supplies. This includes Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Health Alliance Plan of Michigan, Priority Health, Michigan Medicaid, and Medicare.
This is a great event – we learned so much last year when we attended the workshops. Hope to see you soon!
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Blog is a great resource for members and non-members alike! It covers categories including community health, chronic disease, healthy living, care delivery, and BCBS news.
Check out their article “Know where to go: How to choose between the doctor’s office, urgent care and the ER.” This blog offers guiding advice to help you decide where to go when a need arises, based on the urgency of your health situation and your budget. Blue Cross Blue Shield suggests that you call your primary care doctor first in non-emergency situations. Urgent care centers are a good option if you can’t reach your doctor or need health care outside of regular business hours. Most of the time, the out-of-pocket cost of a visit to the urgent care is less than than you will pay for a visit to the emergency room. ERs are best for treating urgent, acute, and life-threatening conditions.
Healthy Living Medical Supply is in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for insulin pumps, CGM, Omnipods, and testing supplies. Find out more about how we can serve BCBS patients and visit our Easy Enrollment page! We're also in network with most out-of-state Blue Cross Blue Shield plans when the member is a resident in the state of Michigan.