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On multiple daily injections (MDI)? Medtronic’s latest CGM system takes the guesswork out of managing type 1 diabetes. 

To the outsider T1D must seem mysterious – the idea that you say goodbye to ‘sugar’ and hello to perpetual ‘finger pricks’ (or fingersticks) which occasionally indicate you should have a ‘jellybean’… Despite how far our community has come, there are still examples of well-meaning, albeit misguided, questions that surface every day. You’ve probably been asked one.

Coming back to the idea of fingersticks, by the logic above, it’s the fingersticks you should be worried about. But the pain of diabetes isn’t a fingerstick – there’s more to good health than that.

Sure – anything that helps decrease the amount of attention you need to draw to your diabetes – or to monitoring it, is a positive step. But ‘moment in time’ monitoring is just part of the equation. Diabetes doesn’t always behave – it’s unpredictable. When you monitor your blood glucose with a fingerstick, the measurement is for the moment you perform the test. It doesn’t give you the big picture – and it’s the big picture that really helps tell you how well you’re managing your diabetes. Think about the last time you made a significant life decision with one piece of information. How’d that work out? Would you do it again? Now think about how you might have made that decision if you’d have had more information – would it have changed your actions? Possibly.

Medtronic’s latest continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) offering – GUARDIAN™ CONNECT – will be available in Australia from early December and Australians with diabetes will be able to take out the guesswork between finger sticks.

Medtronic Guardian Connect components

Guardian Connect is a small wearable CGM device that takes glucose readings every five minutes (288 times a day) and sends them directly to an iOS smartphone app. People can use it to check glucose levels on their mobile phones, to see highs and lows in real-time, understand trends, and help improve daily management of diabetes.

Alerts can also be set up if glucose goes above or below preset levels, helping patients to take action to prevent or address potentially dangerous high and low glucose events. All of this information can be shared with care partners via SMS text messages (to android and iPhones) and via access to the real-time CGM tracing from any web-enabled device. Healthcare providers can even leverage automatic daily data uploads via CareLink Professional – a therapy management software by Medtronic.

According to Associate Professor David O’Neal of the Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, “Guardian Connect provides glucose levels in real time 24/7 and alerts the patient to glucose levels that are predicted to drift outside their target range. It also provides a more effective tool in enabling the patient and the health professional to reflect upon the impact that the patient’s actions can have on their glucose levels and to devise management strategies accordingly.

“Our ultimate aim is to minimise the impact of diabetes on the patient’s physical wellbeing and quality of life. Guardian Connect’s integration with smart phone technology is a significant step towards this goal.”

We know that the ‘big picture’ test is the haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test. HbA1c is a kind of chemical ‘footprint’ that shows how much glucose has been in your bloodstream over the past 60 to 90 days (the average lifespan of a red blood cell), and it’s been shown that for people living with diabetes, an HbA1c level of ≤ 7 greatly reduces the risk of long-term complications. But it’s a bit hard to achieve this if you aren’t working with this information in the first place. Guardian Connect is about taking the guesswork out of diabetes management and setting you up for success for good health now and in the future – and with a solution that’s connected to your smartphone, the answers you need are never too far away!

The Guardian Connect smartphone app will initially be available with compatible iOS devices and Medtronic is working on an Android version of the app as well. The Guardian Connect System will be available from $9 a day on subscription.  The system consists of: Guardian Connect App on an iOS device, Bluetooth-enabled transmitter, Enlite™ sensor (which lasts for six days) and CareLink therapy management software. Terms and Conditions will apply.

Learn more at the Medtronic website.

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