After what seems like years of feeling left behind because I’m loyal and stuck with Medtronic for my insulin pump and CGM needs, I no longer feel outdated because I can finally view my CGM graph on my iPhone!! OK, so it really hasn’t been years but over the past few years, it has definitely seemed like Dexcom has had the upper hand with advancements in the CGM arena. With the #WeAreNotWaiting movement and Nightscout project, Dexcom users have reaped the benefits of technological advancements. I’ve sat on the sidelines waiting for Medtronic to come out with something. I love having my CGM data and my insulin pump together, something Dexcom doesn’t’ offer (well they do now with the Animas pump). But with all the advancements and advantages that Dexcom seemed to have, I was seriously thinking about turning in my 18+ year loyalty card to Medtronic and jumping ship to Dexcom.
Then my wishes came true and Medtronic announced that I could finally view my CGM data on my phone! Medtronic announced earlier in the year that they were coming out with Minimed Connect, a device that links your CGM to your iPhone so you can view your data. It finally came out a few weeks ago and I got it the week it was available. I’ve had it for almost 2 weeks now so I thought I’d share my thoughts so far:
The setup was very easy. Medtronic sent this nifty “cheat” sheet to get setup and it was very easy to follow and before I knew it, I was all ready to go!
They also sent an instruction booklet, which you can also access from the app but I didn’t think it was really necessary because most of it was self-explanatory and the one page getting started guide answered most of the questions I had.
It is SO nice to be able to see my CGM data on my phone! If I’m wearing a dress or carrying my son on the same hip where my pump is so that I can’t reach it, I can just pull out my phone (which is usually in my hands anyway!) and see what my blood sugar is!
The screen displays lot of information! And it’s in color! The main screen shows what your blood sugar is now, how much active insulin you have on board, when you need to calibrate next, what day of your sensor you are on and shows 3 hour, 6 hour, 12 hour and 24 hour graphs of your CGM data. You can easily scroll between the different graphs with a swipe of your finger or taping the time frame you want at the bottom. The main screen also shows arrows up or down if your blood sugars are rising or falling rapidly.
Your blood sugar number changes color depending on how low or high it is (good to quickly know if you are high or low?)
The Minimed Connect app also has even MORE information if you click the “hamburger” icon in the top left. This screen shows battery information for your Uploaded and your pump. It shows how much insulin is left in your pump. It shows when you need to change your sensor next and it also shows if all of the devices are connected. This screen provides some good information quickly at your fingertips.
This screen also lets you Sync to Carelink which is think is amazing! I have had problems with Carelink in the past when I’ve upgraded my OS on my Mac and I’ve also had problems with Java on Carelink’s website so this eliminates that frustration (well the Java part at least, still run into issues viewing the reports if I’ve upgraded my OS but that’s a story for another day).
On the Sync to Carelink screen, you can also “Invite a Care Partner” to view your data on Carelink’s website. My care partner receives an email inviting him/her to view the data. The one downside is that I have to share my log on information with my care partner. It’s not really a huge deal but would be nice if they could create their own log on to view my data.
Once they log on they can see my CGM data on the Carelink website:
I can also go to Carelink’s website to set up text message notifications for my care partner. These messages go out when I get a low blood sugar. I usually ask my husband to get me low treats if I’m low and taking care of our son (hubby works from home) so now we can bypass the step of me calling to him by having him receive text messages when I’m low. It was pretty easy to set up this feature.
There are a few negatives that I have found so far. For starters, I have the new iPhone 6S and the app for the Minimed Connect that just came out (after the new iPhone) is already outdated.
I know that Medtronic probably has to get FDA approval for every new release on the iPhone but since my husband and I work in software, I know that the new iOS software beta was released back in June so you would think they would try to have the app ready for the newest software.
A second issue is the the Minimed Connect app is currently only available for the iPhone. This isn’t an issue for me because I have an iPhone but perhaps people looking to get it that don’t have an iPhone might be disappointed.
It is really hard to remember to carry around the uploader. Between my pump losing signal to my CGM (despite being only inches away sometimes) and not having my uploader nearby, I have found that I don’t use the software all that much because I get “weak signal” messages a lot.
Which brings up another grievance with the Minimed Connect, it has to be a separate device. I understand the reasoning behind it somewhat (FDA approval and all that jazz) but it would be so much nicer if it was integrated into the pump/cgm so I didn’t have to carry around another device. My solution is to leave it in my test kit (what I call my blood glucose meter) case so I don’t lose it but I don’t always have my test kit right beside me thus getting a weak signal message.
I did mention above that it was really easy and simple to connect my devices and use the app but I do think the documentation is lacking in the Q&A section. I had a low blood sugar the other day and my husband didn’t get a text message alert like he was supposed. The User Guide doesn’t address issues like this and instead I was directed to call Medtronic’s help line (well they called me but I missed their call so now I have to call them back). I’m not sure if many questions like this will arise but the answer wasn’t in the book as to why this was happening. Hopefully as more people use the device, they will work on a more comprehensive FAQ section.
I think my biggest beef with the Minimed Connect device is that it can’t talk back to my pump. In my dream device world, I want a pump that I can control from my phone. This app gets close but if I get a high or low alert while wearing a dress, I still can’t log onto my phone to turn it off. If I am out on a nice date night, wearing a dress, I can’t bolus for my meal using my phone. I think we are definitely moving in the right direction and I’m so happy to be able to view my CGM graph on my phone but I sure would love to be able to respond back to my pump using my phone.
I went ahead and bought the Minimed Connect device and downloaded the app before I knew anything about it really. I knew it could allow me to view my CGM graph from my phone but otherwise I was sort of clueless to it’s capabilities. The device is $199 and I think for that price, it might not do enough to warrant the price. So far I am loving the idea of it. I LOVE being able to view my CGM data on my phone but because I don’t always have my devices (CGM, Uploader and phone) all close together, I don’t get my data reported too often. The low text alert is a nice feature but it didn’t work one of the few times I was actually low. I’m not upset I spent the $199 but I think if I knew now what I do, I might not have spent the money and waited to see if the price would drop at all. Minimed is definitely moving in the right direction with this and I hope they come out with more advances like this in the near future!
Has anyone else bought the Minimed Connect and if so, what are your initial thoughts? If you haven’t bought yet, are you considering? Hope this Minimed Connect review helped to answer some questions you might have!