When Nightscout was unveiled last year, we all thought “Well, it’s about time someone brought this technology to the world”.
Then came Dexcom Share, and we were all happy again, because, among other things, we now had choices in showing our CGM data to others. Given these two developments, I thought, at least, that Medtronic wasn’t interested in such a thing, even though its appeal was nearly universal.
Well, I was wrong. In fact, Medtronic was working on what they’re calling MiniMed Connect, which will take data from your Medtronic CGM and pump, and send it to your smartphone. From there, you can share it with people of your choosing. They announced their plans for MiniMed Connect, plus a partnership to leverage Samsung technology resources, at the American Diabetes Association’s 75th Scientific Sessions.
Here’s how it works:
First, of course, your Med-T pump and your CGM must be working. Duh. Then, you have to have the uploader that comes with the new technology. I know, one more thing to carry around. It’s supposed to be small enough to carry around on your keychain.
The uploader sends data from your pump and CGM to your MiniMed Connect app on your Apple mobile device only. So, if you’re carrying around an Android device, you’re out of luck for now. I suspect this is where the Samsung announcement comes into play. However, once it’s on your Apple device, you can share it with whomever you wish, on any platform. You can also have it push text messages to the people who care about you, for things like high and low BGs and pump alarms.
You can begin “pre-ordering” in July, and it should be available in the fall. The cost is $199.00… no word on whether any insurance plans might get on board with this (though they should). For now, it’s probably a good Flexible Spending Account purchase. Oh, and I almost forgot: MiniMed Connect will work with both the existing 530g system, and with the previous MiniMed Revel system too.
Now, about that Samsung partnership. According to the official announcement, “Medtronic and Samsung Electronics are combining their respective strengths to develop a range of future solutions that will enhance the way people with diabetes live their lives, from remotely viewing diabetes data to ultimately integrating mobile and wearable devices into diabetes management systems.”
So this looks like possibly (and I obviously don’t have any inside information) two things to me: Working on the Android version of MiniMed Connect, and… maybe… furthering Artificial Pancreas development? Who knows? That second part is just a wild guess. But it would be nice.
There was one more announcement from Medtronic on Friday. They announced the inclusion of Medtronic data into the Glooko cloud-based platform, to help People With Diabetes who like and use Glooko to upload data from their pumps and CGMs and use it for analytics and overall diabetes management. As far as I can tell, this is the first announcement about working with Glooko since Medtronic invested a lot of money in Glooko during a round of capital raising completed in March. Guess who else became a major investor then? That’s right… Samsung.
At the 30,000 foot level, this all may look like a big company wanting to get into the diabetes data sharing market. It’s easy to be cynical, and I’m one of the most cynical of the bunch. I do wonder how much influence the whole #WeAreNotWaiting movement has been on all this. In a small way, there is a sense, at least, that a tipping point was reached in the data sharing space, and Medtronic didn’t want to be left out. Why else announce something in June that won’t even be available for pre-order until July, with delivery to consumers waiting until fall? Still, I’m all for tipping, and for #WeAreNotWaiting.
Welcome to the party, Medtronic.