Medtronic's Milestone Millionth CGM Sensor Sale Increases Pressure on Insurers to Cover the Units

Apr 10, 2008

Years from now, when we’re looking for significant milestones in the struggle to get insurers to cover the cost of continuous glucose monitors, keep this one in mind: Medtronic has just announced the sale of its one millionth sensor from its line of CGM products.

That figure, 1 million, is the result of 10 years of feedback, constant improvements and economies of scale since Medtronic introduced CGM in 1998. As more and more of the units are sold and put into daily use, pressure on health insurers increases to make continuous glucose monitoring units a routinely covered medical expense.

The recipient of the millionth sensor was Tim Parker of San Jose, Calif. Parker was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 11 years ago and has used CGM therapy for two years to help him manage his diabetes. (Diabetes Health will post an interview with Tim the week of April 14.)

Parker, who uses the Paradigm™ REAL-Time System, previously  experienced unexplained blood glucose excursions that worried him. “I would go to bed with my blood glucose levels at 110 and wake up at 220. What could be happening to my body while I was asleep?” He began researching options and learned about CGM on the Internet.

The system relays glucose readings every five minutes from a sensor to the insulin pump, which displays up to 288 readings a day – nearly 100 times more information than three daily fingersticks. Glucose measurements obtained by the sensor are relayed every five minutes and displayed in three-hour and 24-hour trend graphs, as well as arrows to indicate how quickly glucose is moving up or down.

To celebrate Parker’s receipt of the one millionth glucose sensor, he will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Medtronic’s Diabetes facility in Northridge, Calif., where he will tour the facility, meet the senior management and engineering teams, and see the glucose sensor manufacturing process.

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Categories: Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Insulin Pumps, Low Blood Sugar, Type 1 Issues

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Apr 10, 2008

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