When it comes to children, the market is flooded with devices offering peace of mind: nanny cams, cell phones with GPS tracking devices and baby monitors to name a few.
Now Medtronic has come up with a device to give this same sense of serenity to parents of children with diabetes.
Called mySentry Remote Glucose Monitor, the monitor works with the MiniMed Paradigm® REAL-Time Revel™ System, an insulin pump with built-in continuous glucose monitoring to allow parents to know what is happening in their children’s’ glucose levels without ever getting up from their bed.
Hypoglycemia (blood glucose under 70mg/dl) can be scary—especially if it happens when everyone is sound asleep. Parents of children with diabetes are always on the lookout for ways to prevent nighttime lows. They may wake up (and wake their child up) several times a night to take a blood glucose reading, and some have taken to using hypoglycemia-sensing service dogs to keep their children safe.
Medtronic’s new technology may help reduce some of this anxiety.
The system works by transmitting the data from the continuous glucose monitor portion of the system to a special monitor.
A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) allows users to see what is happening in their bloodstreams every three to five minutes. CGMs also have alarms that can be set at specific levels. For example, a user can set an alarm if the glucose level exceeds 250mg/dl or drops below 70mg/dl. If the upper or lower parameter is reached the alarm sounds, warning the user to take action.
With mySentry not only does the child hear the alarm, but his or her parents get the same information simultaneously. In addition, Medtronic’s Revel pump and CGM can inform users and parents of the direction the blood glucose is trending so appropriate action (such as giving insulin or providing fast acting carbohydrate) can be taken to avoid a blood glucose crisis.
mySentry puts all of this information at the fingertips of parents without waking the child.
The mySentry system consists of a monitor with a color screen, a power supply, and an outpost that transmits information from the Medtronic MiniMed Paradigm® REAL-Time Revel™ System to the mySentry monitor. The monitor can be placed up to 50 feet from the pump/CGM.
Will it catch on and be successful? Even the MDs at the Joslin pediatric unit don’t know presently. “It sounds like a great concept and certainly some of our patients would be interested in it, but it isn’t covered by insurance yet and we don’t know how it will operate in practice,” says Joan F. Mansfield, M.D., Assistant Section Chief of Pediatrics.
By Nora Saul, M.S., R.D., C.D.E., Manager of Nutritional Services at Joslin