Seven Lucky Cities Get Medtronic Guardian RT Continuous Monitors

Medtronic Minimed’s Guardian RT continuous monitoring system is Hot, Hot, Hot! Some doctors have even called the company offering cash payouts just to get their hands on one, according to a company rep who spoke at a support group I attended a few days ago (I know, I know, but never say never!)Guardrt_prod

Approved by the FDA last month, Guardian RT is the first continuous glucose monitoring system on the market to display readings in real time. As in: “Look, Ma! I’m dropping… time for a snack!” Wow!

And at this very moment, in seven fortunate cities around the country (the rep would not disclose which), the system is already available under doctors’ supervision. When will the rest of us get a turn?

“We’re working out the cost structures, the policies, and CDE education on how to use the unit. Essentially we’re working out the kinks,” I was told. Good! But I couldn’t even squeeze out of the guy whether it might be ca. 6 months, a year, or longer?

In the meantime, he told us, lots of diabetes centers and progressive practices around the country are offering a stint with Minimed’s CGMS Gold (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) system, a larger unit that is loaned out to patients for three days at a time. This one’s not real-time, as the patient has to bring the unit back to the doctor to download collected data. But it still offers a wealth of information on the patient’s BG patterns — a mini “video” if you will, rather than the static “snapshot” that you get with a traditional glucose monitor.

Also overheard at the Support Group Meeting:
* “We’ve got to convince many doctors that the insulin pump is not a last resort — when the patient’s already hit bottom. They’ve got to understand that the pump is proactive therapy that helps the patient before they’re falling off!” — the MiniMed Rep

* “I wish my doctor knew as much about this stuff as I do!” — Type 1 guy for 11 years, 5 years on the pump

PLUS: I learned that Medtronic Minimed offers free classes on an array of topics including Carb Counting, Intro to the Pump/Advanced Pump Skills, Understanding Blood Glucose Trends, etc. You do NOT have to be a MiniMed wearer/customer to attend. Check the lineup in your area on the Minimed patient site.


12 Responses

  1. Kirk
    Kirk September 26, 2005 at 7:51 am | | Reply

    Hey Amy good morning. Why would I want one of those things hanging on my belt????


  2. Alexis
    Alexis September 26, 2005 at 11:00 am | | Reply

    I did not see any mention of the size of this thing on their product page. It seems to me that its the piece that goes into you which needed FDA approval, so here is hoping that the meter can be improved (smaller, more range so you can put it in your pocket, bag, ect).

  3. Marcus Gonzales
    Marcus Gonzales September 26, 2005 at 8:56 pm | | Reply

    I found a company called Smartcare that has developed a new diabetes treatment. Offices are about to open in Utah and California. It is amazing.

  4. Kerri.
    Kerri. September 27, 2005 at 9:19 am | | Reply

    I have seen one of these CGMS and they are about as cumbersome as the pump. HOWEVER (and this is a big one) I have been told that the sensor reads through the patient’s skin via infrared, and often times leaves burn marks. That was the case with the GlucoWatch … is that still the case with the CGMS?

  5. Rob
    Rob September 27, 2005 at 9:20 am | | Reply

    Hi Amy -

    I signed up to get more info from Medtronic as well but haven’t heard anything about where this is located. If you do hear more about availability, please post!

    For Kirk – if you are a pump user or have marginal control (both apply to me) then this is a really big deal. If your control is good then I would agree that the benefit is a little marginal to justify having to attach that to yourself.

  6. Bruce McFadden
    Bruce McFadden October 31, 2005 at 12:30 pm | | Reply

    Kirk — would you rather have a device the size of a pager on your belt, or go blind?

    Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who can maintain perfect control of your blood glucose — but for the vast majority of us living with diabetes having a device to continuously monitor blood glucose levels is the HOLY GRAIL of treatment. Wearing a beeper on my belt is NOTHING compared to the benefits this device would provide.

    This is an enourmous breakthrough. I only hope they price it so the vast majority of those with diabetes will have access to it.

  7. Paul
    Paul November 1, 2005 at 4:00 am | | Reply

    Hi everyone,

    Minimed have released the Guardian RT in the UK and it is FANTASTIC. My diabetic clinic have organised a trial use of the unit and i have had it on the last 2 days. It’s a complete revolution in diabetes care as far as i am concerned. no more worries about hypo’s, no more waking up in the morning with a high BG. basically, you set your high and low alert levels and the unit vibrates or sounds an alarm and you take the corrective action.

  8. AmyT
    AmyT November 1, 2005 at 9:36 am | | Reply

    I now know that Austin, TX, is one of the cities in the US. And obviously, the UK has them, too!

    Paul, will you keep us updated? I’m assuming you don’t wear a pump or you’d have to have two devices attached to your abdomen, correct?

  9. FredH
    FredH December 7, 2005 at 6:14 am | | Reply

    I have been using one for about a month. It is FANTASTIC!

  10. ZeroBeta
    ZeroBeta December 11, 2005 at 10:07 pm | | Reply

    Hello all, I think for realtime glucose readings I would wear a backpack full of equipment. Im 24 and going blind. But I can watch Tv on my cell phone and no exactly were I am via GPS. Technology is are future hope.

  11. DensityDuck
    DensityDuck January 1, 2006 at 8:04 pm | | Reply

    Comments update: January 1, 2006 and Medtronic still isn’t letting us have the continuous monitor…I’m wondering if they have large stocks of the ridiculous “Guardian CGMS”, a piece of crap the size of a paperback book that can’t do real-time monitoring…this kind of fuckaround is making me think about switching away from Medtronic.

  12. Linda Williams
    Linda Williams January 29, 2006 at 3:00 pm | | Reply

    I recently spoke to Medtronic & was told they are working on getting HCPC – healthcare policy codes – from the government now. With these codes, insurance companies can decide whether or not to pay for the guardian rt. The rep I spoke to said they are looking at May, 2006 or later before widespread release.

    In the meantime, you can contact a medtronic rep who can put you in touch with a doctor that is prescribing in one of the 7 cities. If you can pay the 2700 up front & the 400.00 per month for the sensors you can get one now.

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