Staying positive through the challenges of Diabetes

Medtronic Patient Advocate and Bloggers Meeting (UK) #MiniMed640G #iport

on January 19, 2015

I was fortunate enough to be invited along by Medtronic to a meeting for patient bloggers.  I have never been to these type of meetings before and was not sure what to expect. I had been told that my name had cropped up when they had researched into where patients (or as we should be called “professionals”) go to find help or information.  Well all I can say is that I am pleased that my mad ramblings help some people out there 🙂

When it came to the day I still did not know what to expect.  When signing in I recognised a lot of the names off the list, and when they came through the door it seemed odd like I had already been apart of their lives yet it was the first time I was meeting everyone (well apart from Paul from GBDOC and Team Blood Glucose and Emma Day my PDSN from many years ago who now works for Medtronic!).

Those familiar faces that most will know from the online diabetic community especially twitter where also invited, also some had already been to previous meetings…. so I felt a little confused why I had been invited to this meeting.  I had an idea it may be about a new product… but still why me :-|.  Anyhow, list of attendees: – Chris Aldred, George (JDRF Youth Ambassador) and his mum (sorry don’t know your name!?), Laura Cleverly a.ka. Ninjabetic, Lesley (INPUT), Paul Buchanan (GBDOC, Team BG), Kyle (mysugar), Kris Wood, Gavin Griffiths (Diathlete), Dave Sowerby, Mike (everydayupsanddowns) and of course Medtronic employees…

So it was pretty obvious walking into the room it was going to be about the new #MiniMed640G from the big promotional posters as we walked into the room.  What I got a bit confused between was why it was all day to discuss this new pump and was we here to discuss how “fantastic” this new pump was or to actually discuss how Medtronic was going to move with the times and get onto social media…. still I am confused… sorry 😦

I have to admit there may have been times during that day where I lost interest… a lot of it went over my head.  I don’t know about NICE guidelines changing or whatever else people were quoting.  I don’t think that makes me dense… just never needed to question it?

Anyway back to the pump which looks a little something like this:

2015-01-16 14.06.10

As you can see the pump now has a meter that acts as a handset.  You are able to obviously test your blood on the meter which connects directly to the pump, manual bolus and pre-set bolus.  This did not appeal to me as it is missing bolus wizard.  I am not the best at working out my ISF, ICR, and making sure I have counted the carbs correct in the first place.  Well I am better at the carb counting now… just not ICR and ISF together… so that is why I love my Accu-Chek Combo :).  The main differences from older Medtronic pumps are obviously the colour display… yippee… although my handset already has a colour display from four years ago and I don’t really care that the pump itself doesn’t #bigdeal.

The size itself comparing next to my Combo is very similar in size.  I don’t know whether it is smaller than the veo as I have never used one.  It takes a AA battery as apparently before the veo took AAA.  It has a clip on the back of the pump… in a way it reminded me very much of an animas pump in size and shape?  It comes in five different colours and you can get some rather cool looking skins… I am a big kid at heart!

Now down to a fantastic feature called “Smart Guard”.  This feature will only work when you have both the Mini Med 640 G and CGM in situ.  The Smart Guard is able to predict when you are heading for a hypo, it will disable any insulin 3.9 mmol above your low level (low level being where you are comfortable walking around) and and stops is going from 1.1 mmol below your low level….. and I am still as confused trying to explain that.  I know what I am trying to say but feel like I am making no sense…. basically it will stop you from going hypo, stop the insulin before you reach that low limit and hopefully just skim past allowing you to come back into range before the insulin is restarted again.  The insulin will stop for a minimum of 30 minutes, unlike the veo which is two hours, you can also turn the alarms off but it will alarm if you are indeed hypo.  They did question whether you would need to eat anything extra to stop going hypo during exercise.  As Paul said exercise is not that simple.  Some sports can cause your blood sugars to spike due to adrenalin.  Plus I think for a half marathon I think like most non-diabetics you would need to take on fuel ;-).  I do agree that walking to the bus stop before or after work that it could help stop a hypo.

I was only able to see in demo mode what the sensor would potentially look like in action.  Considering I have never used a CGM only Libre I don’t have a clue is this is any different.  I also don’t even know what the new sensors look like or if in fact they are the same as previous ones?  I asked the Medtronic guys if they could show me the new sensor and cannula in one.  Unfortunately this is still in trials at the moment.  So for the time being you will still need two sites.

Medtronic have a challenge on their hands to try and convince the CCG’s to buy it as a system rather than an insulin pump and CGM.  Apparently if this does happen people will be reimbursed. This is all well and good but I personally don’t have 200 odd quid to spare every month! Yes I self fund for libre which costs me half of that price… I don’t want to spend that each month its not a luxury but needs must. Plus I don’t think my CCG is going to buy into this.  It will only be accessible to those who need it most, those who have no hypo awareness or those who have needed hospital admissions due to hypos.  This is understandable, the NHS hasn’t got an endless supply of cash and everyone can’t have everything handed to them on a plate.  If it did I think I may be out of a job 😐

You will be able to order supplies from online shop which should go live when the pump is launched in the first week of February.  Medtronic are also going to be designing a quarterly newsletter, with news/stories that customers want to read not just selling you the latest products.

I am due an upgrade in August this year.  I did think Medtronic would be a contender but still the fact that CGM’s are so expensive and the handset has no bolus wizard I think I will be giving it a miss.  I can understand why it would be useful for some especially avoiding those horrible hypos we all dread.

I will be looking into pumps which do have a handset which will either be the new Roche Insight or Cellnovo.  Would love to hear from people who have experiences with these pumps, especially those using Cellnovo as this pump is so new.  I do like the idea of being able to track blood sugars, insulin and has an added activity tracker.

I feel like all I have done is have a good moan in this blog… this is not my intention just to give an honest opinion 🙂

Another product which we didn’t spend so much time discussing was the iport as pictured below:

2015-01-16 15.45.01

This is a little like a cannula for the pump but for injecting.  If I was still on MDI I would have loved this product!  You can inject as many times as you like but just needs changing every three days like the cannula.  How much this would of saved my poor bruised thighs, arms and stomach and the lumps from injecting over the years! You can’t use the same iport for mixed insulin’s so for NovoRapid and Lantus as like before you need to keep them separate.  If you are on MDI and are interested please do contact your HCP 🙂 fantastic idea! not sure why it wasn’t thought of sooner!!

Below is the information from Medtronic itself for all the correct info minus my opinions 😉 


NEW! Introducing the

MiniMed™ 640G system

with exclusive SmartGuard™ technology





The MiniMed 640G system is the latest technology in diabetes insulin pump therapy from Medtronic. We have combined our exclusive, ground breaking protection from hypoglycaemia, with industry standard features such as colour screen, waterproofing, and remote blousing (from the Bayer Contour Next Link 2.4 blood glucose meter) to create an insulin therapy system that is both easy to use and potentially life changing. The MiniMed 640G system has been designed to offer people with type 1 diabetes greater freedom and better health.

 The system combines:



Advanced protection

from hypoglycaemia1

SmartGuard, Medtronic’s exclusive closed loop technology, can stop insulin when sensor glucose levels are predicted to approach a low limit – and start insulin back up when levels recover.2




Personalised convenience

for easier daily diabetes management


Informative Bolus Wizard


Personalised basal and bolus settings




Discreet remote bolusing from linking Bayer meter


Louder,3 volume-adjustable alerts



Intuitive design

to fit your patient’s lifestyle


Waterproof (IPX8)4


Full-color, auto-brightness display


Intuitive5 screen navigation


Available in five accent colours




Bergenstal RM, Klonoff DC, Garg SK. et al. Threshold-Based Insulin-Pump Interruption for Reduction of Hypoglycemia. N Engl J Med. 2013; 369(3):224-232.


Must be using Guardian 2 Link with Enlite to enable the SmartGuard feature on the MiniMed 640G insulin pump. The SmartGuard algorithm optimisation was based on the unique characteristics of how the Medtronic devices function as an integrated system. The full efficacy of the algorithm in preventing hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia has not yet been validated through direct clinical evidence.


Compared to Medtronic MiniMed Paradigm Veo system.


Waterproof at time of manufacture up to 3.6 meters for up to 24 hours at a time. See MiniMed 640G User Guide for a complete description of the waterproof capabilities and proper use instructions.


CCR Study, 2012. HFMD, Inc. Data on file at Medtronic MiniMed, Inc., Northridge, CA.

For a listing of indications, contraindications, precaution, warnings, and potential adverse events, please refer to the Instructions for Use.

MiniMed, Guardian and SmartGuard are trademarks of Medtronic MiniMed, Inc


3 responses to “Medtronic Patient Advocate and Bloggers Meeting (UK) #MiniMed640G #iport

  1. My Pump says:

    Superb blog and thanks for sharing this with us, I hope you done mind me reblooging your great review. Thanks again. Andrew http://www.mypump.co.uk


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