Minimed Connect Review

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My son was just as excited as I was!

My son was just as excited as I was!

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of feeling left behind because I’m loyal and stuck with Medtronic for my insulin pump and CGM needs, I no longer feel outdated because I can finally view my CGM graph on my iPhone!!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:IMG_9699

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!

Easy instructions to follow

Easy instructions to follow

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!IMG_9760

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.

Calibration due soon!

When do I calibrate next?!

Your blood sugar number changes color depending on how low or high it is (good to quickly know if you are high or low?)

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Too low (RED)

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Too high (Orange)

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Just right! (Blue/Green)

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.

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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).

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On the Sync to Carelink screen, you can invite a care partner

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.

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My care partner receives this email, where he can go log on to Carelink to view my data

Once they log on they can see my CGM data on the Carelink website:

My care partner can log on to Carelink to see my CGM graph

My care partner can log on to Carelink to see my CGM graph

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.

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Low alert text to my hubby (care partner)

Low alert text to my hubby (care partner)

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. IMG_9843

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.

Either the uploader isn't nearby or the pump isn't connecting to my CGM, grr

Either the uploader isn’t nearby or the pump isn’t connecting to my CGM, grr

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!


11 thoughts on “Minimed Connect Review

  1. I appreciate your thoughts because I was considering whether or not I should purchase as well. It seems like it would be nice just for the visual without removing pump from my hiding places (lol). However it is kinda pricey so I’m glad you mentioned everything you “can’t ” do with it as well. Maybe they will lower the price or increase the functions the app allows. I think sometimes CGM tools are awesome but when my #s aren’t so smooth, it adds extra guilt. Tough call because I’m not sure how much I need to stare at my CGM during the day.

  2. I trialed it for a month before the release, so I’ve been using it for quite some time now. I love it. Yes, I have a wishlist for more things it can do, but I’m sure they will come. I tell myself to remember this is the first stage. Remember the first Dexcom Share that had that big docking station? That’s now long gone.

    As for the text alert, it’s my understanding that they only go out if you don’t clear the low alarm on your pump? I could be wrong, so definitely double check with the HelpLine. But perhaps you cleared the alarm quickly, so the text didn’t get sent?

    And for the uploader, I bought a cellphone charm clip that I’ve attached to my phone case. And I clip the uploader to that. Works really well!! I can send you a picture of it if you’re interested. <3

    • Ah I never had Dexcom so I don’t know what the first generation was like but yeah, I’m sure Medtronic is working on more improvements for the future :).

      Oh, that’s good to know about the low alert! I didn’t see that explanation in the documentation anywhere so I wasn’t quite sure how that worked. Thanks!

      Smart about the cellphone charm clip! I’ll have to look into that. Thanks for the info Karen!

  3. Thank you this review was very helpful. I was considering purchasing the CONNECT; but I think I will wait to see if the price comes down. I totally agree with you that it would be much better if the cellphone could communicate back to the pump.
    Thanks again for the great review.

  4. I am a diabetic also, and have the Connect uploader, which I also found I needed a way to keep it with me constantly. I made some bags and cases which I hope I may share with anyone who also wants a way to keep the Connect uploader connected to them.

  5. I am consideriing the medtronic 530g and enlite plus the mini med connect for my newly diagnosed kiddo. She may be starting a pump next week. No one from Medtronic explained that this was a seperate piece of equipment or that it had to be purchased when I inquired about the 530G & enlite. They all said “You can see her blood sugars on your phone.” I thought great for her and me. Now I’m finding this out and I’m a bit annoyed. On top of the fact the sensors for the enlite are going to run me 1450.00 every three months yikes! I am diabetic myself and have been for 45 years, no pump here. My kiddo will wear a pump. My daughter is 11 and was diagnosed in July. I know what Im doing, My a1c is 6.5 not rubbing it in just stating a fact. I’m not sure if the 530g w/enilite is the right thing for her now. Not simply because of the cost, but it can’t do everything they said it could. She’s 11. She loses things like any normal 11 year old kid would. This is just another piece of the pie, she shouldn’t have to have. They need to incorporate it into the pump. Maybe for the time being some brilliant engineer will design a phone case that has a key ring on it and you could attach the uploader to it so its less likely to get lost.

  6. In my search for a phone case with a key ring built in I found wallets with key rings no go for an 11 year old, not cool. I also found usb plug in thingys that are keyrings. But nothing physically built into the case.
    Maybe I’ll just Velcro it onto the back of the phone case! The phone is never not with her so at least i know it will always transmit the info.

  7. We ordered this for our son but I didn’t realize that 1. He had to have an iPhone which he does not (it seems obvious now but I thought we’d be ok to just sync to a parent’s phone) 2. He has to have both the phone and the uploaded device together and on his person for it to work correctly. He’s 13 and prone to losing/forgetting items that aren’t physically attached to him. (Parents you know what I’m saying here…).
    I have an iPhone so I synced it to my phone to try it out and see if we want to keep it. We’ve found that it has weak signal more often than it works. It’s been disappointing. We were hoping to have a tool to monitor his blood sugars remotely while he is at school, playing “away” baseball games etc. I’m going to give it a few more days to see if we can work out the bugs but so far it hasn’t met our needs. Super bummed. 🙁

  8. What they won’t tell you is that IT WILL NOT SEND YOU NOTIFICATIONS!

    Say you are getting low, does it give you an alert? NO. You are getting high, does it give you an alert? NO. Is there an option for this? NO. You have to constantly open the app, drop down the notification center (which many people don’t use), etc… Simple notifications, are completely missing for the information that is most important to a diabetic. I want to know when I am running out of insulin on my pump. I want to know when I am getting low. I don’t want to have to use an antiquated interface that doesn’t work like it should….

    The product was relased without much thought for an iPhone user in mind. Basic iOS programming that almost any app has is sorely missing from this. IT IS SO BAD, THEY LOWERED THE PRICE $100.

    DO NOT BUY THIS!

  9. Worst Medtronic product ever. It does not do what it says it does. The app has to be open and all three devices within a foot of eacchother to relieve info. Half the time it is unable to connect. I used this product for a week before putting it back in the box. However I relieved it for Christmas so it was past the thirty days. The when I called to return it they were extremely rude and said there was nothing that could be done. The guy made me cry by saying that I should know about the return policy and have to go through trouble shooting because that is not how the product should work. If you want to have cgm results look at your pump. Plus you even get alerts through it. If you want to be disappointed and $100 poorer go ahead and buy it. But you can spend your money in better ways.

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