mySentry Trial: CareLink Pro

Last posts in this series: mySentry Trial: Starting UpmySentry Trial: Wearing the Sensor, & mySentry Trial: The mySentry Unit

I’m still wearing my old Cozmo pump. It’s long past its warranty period. There are so many cracks in it that I keep it as far away from water as possible. The battery cap is a different color than the cartridge cap, and the cartridge cap is a different color than the pump. It looks more like Frankenstein each time I harvest a part off an old pump to repair this one. But it’s still going, and doing a fine job. But I recognize that the day is approaching where I have to decide what pump I’d like next.

What I’m about to say is going to surprise many of my friends and former co-workers from Smiths Medical. Y’all might want to sit down…

I’m seriously considering a Medtronic pump for my next purchase.

(thump, thump, thump thump, thump) 

That was the sound of at least five of my former Cozmo buddies fainting…

Their CareLink Pro software is amazing.

Medtronic has clearly invested a lot of resources into this software, and even more resources into educating doctors and HCP’s on how to interpret the reports and make therapy adjustments. I’d even wager on them working harder on the software than on the actual medication delivery aspect of the pump itself (which hasn’t changed much over the years).

Scott E. wrote that “The Hook” brings you back, and I have to agree. I really miss it.

Just before my first endo appointment after starting the trial I uploaded my information into the software. At the appointment my doctor spent about five minutes looking through the data and was able to make some very significant therapy adjustments. Basal rates, insulin to carb ratios, correction factors, all of it. I was floored by how quickly he could make sense from what he was seeing.

And it all helped.

But you know what really draws me back? I didn’t do any extra work to provide him with all of that information. I wore their pump, I tolerated their sensor, I used their glucose meter. I didn’t write anything down, I didn’t keep a logbook. I didn’t even think about preparing a report for my next appointment.

I just used their system.

What am I waiting for?

Their next generation sensor.

I had a lot of trouble wearing the current Medtronic CGM sensor. As you can imagine, that sensor is capable of sending a lot of information into CareLink. Without sensor data I’m not sure I’d feel so strongly about the benefits CareLink offers. If I can tolerate their next generation sensor, rumored to be coming soon, then I’ll switch without hesitation.

I hope my Cozmo can last that long.

Disclosure

I received all of the pump supplies, components, and training from Medtronic, free of charge.  I was not asked to write or say anything about my experience, I was not given any limits around anything I did write or say.  I did not receive any compensation other than the opportunity to try their products.

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19 thoughts on “mySentry Trial: CareLink Pro

  1. I am a 49-year Type 1. I am a long-time MM pumper, and I am tired of the parental attitude of Medtronic! Why don’t pumpers get to download or buy Carelink Pro?? Are we dumber than the providers who can use Pro? I think not, certainly not after living with this strange malady for a few years! I am, therefore, on a crusade to make Pro available to all MM pumpers that have been pumping for at least a year and are over 18. What do you think?

    • Hi!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      I’m actually unsure how I feel about it… BUT – I think I’m in a unique situation. My doctor is incredibly well educated/trained on how to interpret the reports, and he never fails to impress me. That being said, I’m often overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data, and gladly hand it over to a helpful set of eyes and brains to make sense of it.

      So that leaves me feeling very confused and conflicted about the topic. For now, I think I’m going to decide to be undecided.

      Thanks again for stopping by, though! I do appreciate you opening up the conversation!

    • Hi Clionah!

      As a patient, I (we?) don’t have access to CareLink Pro. As far as I know, that’s only available to clinicians and HCP’s.

      In this article I talked about my doctor looking through the information and making adjustments to my therapy. He was the one looking at CareLink Pro.

      Let me know if you have more questions.

      Thanks!

  2. We (for my son) have both the current MM pump with CGM and the DEX G4. From the European review, MM has fixed all issues that we had with their current CGM (painful, lost connection, sometimes poor accuracy, and short lifespan). I read several reviewers that had used both the MM Enlite CGM and the G4 and they liked them equally. Once the new model pump is approved, we are switching over. I am so excited about the low BG suspend feature!

  3. Scott, I love my Medtronic pump and CGM. I have never had any problems with either. Medtronic support is great too! I have nothing to compare it to since its always been what I’ve used but I figure “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” The idea of carrying around another receiver is crazy. It would drive me nuts. I find my accuracy with the cgm pretty spot on if calibrated correctly. Some flukes here and there but what technology doesn’t have flaws? I recommend!! Good luck!

  4. I’m lucky that I’ve always gotten great accuracy with the MM sensor, and I imagine I’ll be even happier with the next generation when it arrives. And although the needle is pretty scary looking, it rarely actually hurts me when I insert it (but I can’t wait for the smaller thinner needle!!) But the CareLink reports and the CGM graphs right on my pump are probably my most favorite features of my Revel and the reason I have no interest in switching pumps!!

    It’s a big decision though, and I’m glad you are taking your time to really consider your options. You probably don’t really have any questions since you trialed the pump, but if you do, you know where I am!!

  5. I used the MM CGM for about 6 months on and off and found myself testing too often for its accuracy. The site was very very painful, yes it fed the readings to my pump, but if they were not accurate what is the point. I need something that is spot on like a finger test, and really don’t understand why that cannot happen. I am thinking of trying the Dex, but still leary. I need something as I have hypoglycemic unawareness and I am in constant panic mode everytime I bolus for a meal/snack, etc. I also need the site of the sensor along with the insertion to be like a pump site!!!????

  6. The convenience of the Medtronic system is unparalleled. You don’t need to put your BG readings into the pump, you don’t need to carry around a CGM receiver, and all your data is in conveniently in one place and there’s no need to log anything! (Thanks for the linkback — obviously I’m a big fan of Carelink!) If — and this is an unqualified IF — the sensor is a bit less accurate than others, well, it’s still better than data that’s such a pain to access that you never look at it anyway! But even if you don’t use the Medtronic sensor, you’ve still got your BGs, carbs, ratios, bolus-wizard-overrides, how-many-times-you-trended-higher-than-normal-if-you-didn’t-change-your-infusion-set-in-more-than-three-days, and all other kinds of neat data from Carelink Pro.

    Every time I think of the Dex, I think of losing predictive alerts, losing the “memory” that the Medtronic transmitter keeps (and fills in gaps in case of weak signal), and losing the ability to change my thresholds based on time-of-day. And losing that powerful presentation of data.

    I wonder sometimes about the other manufacturers, but like I titled my blog post, there’s some hook that keeps pulling me back to Medtronic.

  7. I’ve been a looontime MM user, and only deviated for about a year to the Cozmo that I wasn’t too fond of personally… but have been pondering a switch in the past year or two. But yes with word that the 530g is coming soon (hopefully by summer!), I’m sticking with MM. Have been using Dex with my MM pump, just because of the better accuracy and economic cost of being able to wear a sensor for three weeks versus 6 days. Looking forward to the new Enlite sensor, and of course this whole new world of Low Glucose Suspend!

  8. Love the sound effects. And I completely agree with you on the CGM. I’m waiting for the new one too. Honestly, anything is an improvement comfort-wise from the current model.

  9. The newest (not released) Medtronic sensor isn’t as accurate as the new G4… Does that have you concerned? At ADA 2012 their data was approxmately where the last Dexcom was…. I’m wearing the new one and i wouldn’t go back. Extra thing to carry? Yes, but accuracy is everything to me.

    • And my current thought process is that if a suite of somewhat inferior devices brings me better overall management than separate, but better, devices, then it’s worth checking out.

      My decisions seem to change daily though. I wish there was something compelling enough to make my decision easy. I guess for now I’m deciding to not decide.

  10. Keep me posted on what you learn about when the new MM sensor is due to arrive. After using their current sensor/CGM for the past 4 years, I just switched to Dexcom a few weeks ago because I couldn’t stand it any more! Not totally convinced the switch was worth it, as I don’t like to cart around another device in addition to my MM pump, but it will tied me over until the new MM sensor is available.