Texas Doctor Touts Medtronic's iPro Recorder As a Breakthrough Diabetes Diagnostic Tool

| Feb 18, 2008

A Texas endocrinologist who recently put the recently FDA-approved Medtronic iPro continuous glucose recorder through its paces with diabetic patients calls the tool a major step forward in doctors' ability to accurately monitor the disease.

Dr. Thomas Blevins, MD, an endocrinologist who specializes in diabetes, endocrinology, and internal medicine in Austin, Texas, studied 15 patients over a three- to four-month period using the device, which weighs about as much as a quarter.

Patients wore the device for three days at a time, during which it continuously monitored their blood glucose levels and stored the information. They then returned to Dr. Blevins and his colleagues, who downloaded data from the recorders onto their computers. The patients came back a few days later to discuss the data.

"The data are revealing," says Dr. Blevins. "Sometimes three days' worth isn't enough, but it's a start. We may find out that a patient needs to increase his bolus or overnight insulin. We can show people on paper what's going on and pick up on things that finger sticks just can't." He compares finger sticks to "looking at five snapshots of your favorite movie. You get only sort of an idea of what the movie's about instead of a real beginning, middle, and end."

Before the iPro, Dr. Blevins' patients had been using continuous glucose monitoring technology that involved bulky recording devices and cables. "The big difference with the iPro is that it is much more compact, and it stores its data without having to connect to anything outside itself."

"Our patients were more than ready - they'd been waiting for something like this for a long time," he says. "They were pleased about its small size and non-intrusiveness. I think patients in general will accept this easily."

Dr. Blevins calls the miniaturization of diabetes-related technology "an amazing development. Our diagnostic capabilities are now vastly improved. The diabetes world just hasn't had diagnostic tools on the level of MRI or sleep apnea monitoring. Now we're beginning to."

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Categories: Blood Glucose, CGMs, Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Professional Issues

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Posted by Anonymous on 21 February 2008

This iPro is an amazing tool. I am still perplexed that we treat diabetes so archaically like we live in the stone ages. CGMS should be standard of care for any patients that have diabetes.

Posted by Anonymous on 21 February 2008

The device sounds wonderful. The problem is the price and most insurance plans will pay little or nothing for this. The cost is prohibitive for most people.

Posted by Barbarah on 22 February 2008

Diabetes can be controlled but not cured (yet) and that is the part that makes the "long haul" so long!
A good attitude helps but is impossible to have all the time-we are only human after all and 29 plus years with this disease, although great, is a heavy burden.
I appreciate what my endro knows and helps me with-But family,friends and casual acquantances could also be a major contributor to a persons' sense of well being-
I play that role,too-because I know how important it is.
All the devices avalable are just that-a facet of control but there are other things that we know that already "work"!

Posted by Anonymous on 23 February 2008

1. how much is the price?
2. are there any of the major health insurance companies currently allowing coverage for this? [great opportunity for health plans to both help patients, and themselves by reducing outcome costs, and standing out from the competition!]

Posted by Anonymous on 24 February 2008

I have been using the medtronic iPro for 1 year now and I agree with Dr. Blevins that this is an amazing development in diabetes treatment. I am one of few whose insurance will cover the sensors and I feel that ALL insurance carriers should cover this as it definately improves control and over time will end up costing the insurance companies a lot less than for problems that can develop with diabetes.

Posted by Anonymous on 24 February 2008

God, I'm so glad they finally went Macwise! Can't wait 'til it's on the market!

Posted by Anonymous on 25 February 2008

this tool is well covered by medicare and most major plans with a pre auth. this is not the system that goes with the pump though, but rather a tool the doc uses

Posted by Anonymous on 25 February 2008

I am in SW Ohio and insurance companies here other than Medicare will not cover any CGMS.
Very frustrating!

Posted by Anonymous on 27 May 2008

I think this is nuts I live in minnesota and had no problem getting my CGM covered at 100% within 3 hours of faxing in the prior authorization form to my insurance company BCBS I am so sorry that people have to live without this tool that is so important to living well with diabetes and I think that this is something everyone should be entitled to!

Posted by Gabriel on 19 June 2008

Where can i buy this product?, i live in McAllen Texas, any on-line pharmacy u might know ??? Thanks.

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