This year I was lucky enough to attend ISPAD 2023 (International Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Diabetes) in Rotterdam as a patient advocate (thanks to Dedoc Voices for the Scholarship!). Whilst I was there, I visited the Medtronic Diabetes stand, and learned about the new Smart MDI system. Medtronic Diabetes are well known in the diabetes community for their insulin pumps and CGM system, however they have now produced an exciting new technology which, in my opinion, could change the game of self-management of diabetes for individuals who don’t want to be/can’t afford to be on an insulin pump!
The Medtronic Smart MDI system is a revolutionary diabetes management solution that seamlessly integrates the Simplera Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) and InPen smart insulin pen (picture below), hopefully setting a new standard in precision and convenience. Unlike traditional Multiple Daily Injections (MDI), this system can offer users a consolidated view of real-time glucose levels and precise, dose-by-dose tracking of insulin administration. The Simplera CGM can eliminate the need for frequent fingerstick testing, while the InPen ensures accurate insulin dosing, reducing the risk of human errors and having to remember whether you have already taken a dose! With the smartphone app, you can easily check personalised insights about your diabetes management, meaning that it is easier to make informed decisions about your diabetes. The mental burden of having diabetes is already high, and my hope is that having this system will make this burden easier to live with.
Simplera CGM system compared with Guardian 4 sensor
Medtronic’s new Simplera CGM, used in the Smart MDI system, is the first major redesign of a Medtronic CGM. When compared with the Guardian 4 sensor, the Simplera CGM is half the size, and completely flat. Rather than the clamshell/mushroom shape of the Guardian 4 sensor, Simplera CGM is square, and can be worn on the back of the upper arm. There is also no overtape required, unlike the Guardian 4 sensor. Simplera CGM’s adhesive is made from anti-lint material and is designed to prevent sweat and water from reaching the sensor.
All-in-one disposable device
Unlike the Medtronic Guardian 4 Sensor, the Simplera CGM is a fully disposable CGM, with the sensor and transmitter combined into one device. The insertion process itself is a two-step process, making it easier/faster to insert.
Side-note: A feature of the Guardian 4 sensor was its reusable transmitter and inserter, which is always something I admired about the Medtronic system, as it had less of an environmental impact. As someone with diabetes, I always worry about the impact that the single-use plastic from my CGM and insulin pump sets has on the environment. I am slightly disappointed that although the insertion may have gotten smoother and more convenient with the introduction of the Simplera CGM, Medtronic have chosen to create a new disposable product rather than perfecting the reusable equipment they already had. I spoke to a rep at the Medtronic stall about my concerns regarding the environmental impact, and was told that Medtronic takes steps to offset their environmental impact, however I wish that rather than taking steps to fix a problem you are contributing to, you try to tackle the problem from the start.
What’s the same?
There is still a 2-hour warm up time on the Simplera CGM. There is also a seven-day lifespan for the Simplera CGM, which is actually shorter than other CGMs on the market.
The InPen Smart Insulin Pen
With the InPen Smart Insulin Pen, you can deliver insulin the same as you would with a traditional MDI pen, however it means that you have more data about your dosing to help with your control. You can also use an i-Port Advance injection port with the InPen (pictured below), which helps reduce needle pokes by 93%.
The InPen connects to a smartphone app, combining data from the Simplera CGM and using insulin data from the pen to recommend the right mealtime dose. The app offers a dosing calculator, dose reminders, carb counting support and has a digital logbook. The app will help you decide how much insulin to give, it automatically logs your doses, it will remind you to give your mealtime and background insulin (meaning no more forgetting!), and it also can show you how foods & activities affect your sugars. All this means that there is no more need of physically writing out a diary before clinic appointments as it will already be in the app!
The Medtronic Smart MDI system sets itself apart from traditional MDI approaches by offering an integrated, technologically advanced solution that enhances precision, convenience, and overall diabetes management. As we compare these two approaches, it becomes clear that the Smart MDI system is not just a leap forward; it's a paradigm shift in how we approach and care for individuals living with diabetes. I, for one, am really excited for this system to become commonplace, and make diabetes easier to live with whilst also helping with self-management of diabetes!
Note: I have no affiliations with Medtronic or anyone else in the Diabetes industry. I am also not a medical professional, and this is not medical advice. I am an individual living with diabetes, and this blog is for informational purposes only. Please speak to a medical professional prior to making any changes to your diabetes management.