My Life on the Medtronic MiniMed 670G Insulin Pump and More.

Category: Pump Settings

Kicked Out of Auto Mode….Again!

Guardian Sensor Stability and Auto Mode

I have been trying to get back to Auto Mode for the better part of the day today.

As you can see my readings in manual mode were not so bad and I would say those were stable sensor readings. I am not sure what reading variance the Auto Mode algorithm considers acceptable to enter Auto Mode.

Variance does not look too shabby but Auto Mode did not like it.

For sure there is something about the sensor readings that my pump did not like, and after a couple of hours (and in manual mode), the pump requested for a sensor change altogether as you can see below.

Alarm History Medtronic MiniMed 670G

Lots of alarms prior to my the change sensor alarm

Hooray it is now 12:56AM and I just entered Auto Mode. I am….exhausted.

Finally In Auto Mode Again at 1 AM

Getting back into Auto Mode was such a chore that took nearly a whole day.

I am starting to wonder whether Auto Mode is worth all the work.

I have noticed that the Contour Next Link meter, although accurate,  is not as precise. Therefore, it might be contributing to my sensor stability issues by introducing a larger variance.

I will cut back on calibrating the sensor just to when the pump requests for a calibration and see whether that helps.

UPDATE 08/24/2018: I have been using my One UltraMini meter for the last couple days and Auto Mode is working beautifully. Only downside is that I have to enter my values manually and I do not think it is as accurate as my Contour Next Link.

Medtronic Technical Support – Sensor Replacement

I talked to tech support today to see whether two sensors that had failed consecutively could be replaced.

As usual it is quite an ordeal, especially if you are short of time.  The representatives have to follow a script that has been given to them. Many medical companies are so concerned about litigation that they do not allow their customer representatives to freelance.

It is frustrating especially if you are running high or low numbers but having previously worked in a customer-focused position I relate to these guys.

But  long story short, I got the sensors replaced.

TIP: I normally upload my data in CareLink before a technical support call and point the representatives to CareLink as proof that actually my sensor failed and that seems to drive the conversation faster.

Review – What I Love (and Hate) about the Minimed 670G Auto Mode Feature

The MiniMed 670G in AutoMode. The blue shield means it is all-systems-go and in AutoMode.

The MiniMed 670G in AutoMode. The blue shield means it is all-systems-go and in AutoMode.

There is a lot to like about the Auto Mode feature for the Medtronic MiniMed 670G. This feature is analogous to self-driving technology where a car employing this technology drives along fine until the camera hits a blind spot. The same happens for Auto Mode, it works fine until an unexpected situation arises and the Auto Mode algorithm cannot handle this sudden change.

The closed-loop hybrid system is ground-breaking technology that as a research scientist I really appreciate. Yes it is a work in progress. But its current intricacies and potential to give people with Diabetes better control of their glucose numbers and more freedom to pursue other important things in their lives is really laudable.

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For Manual Mode Basal Settings are Everything

Importance of Basal Settings

After nearly giving up on my pump, I found the very popular book by Gary Scheiner, Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin. (Amazon) – I think this is a must-have book for people who want tight control of their glucose numbers.

At this point I had uncontrolled, severe hypoglycemia. With a new-born baby, this was not just a drag on my life but it was a bit dangerous. I do not know how many gallons of orange juice I drank to counter lows.

I had also not paid attention on the importance of fine tuning my basals. I was using a single basal which gave me big lows at night and when I was doing practically anything that needed me to expend a little energy.

Since many new pumpers are coming from a combination of short acting and long acting insulin injections, the idea of basals is a little foreign as compared to bolusing.

I think educators need to spend a little more time on talking about how basals are the foundation of successful pump therapy.

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Tunable Settings in Auto Mode for the MiniMed 670G

Tuning Auto Mode for the Medtronic MiniMed 670G is just like tuning an engine. Changing one setting throws off the other settings

Getting Auto Mode settings just right seems to be a balancing act – more fine tuning than just dialing settings up or down

When it comes to Auto Mode for the MiniMed 670G, tuning the settings to get as close to your sugar targets feels a little more complicated as compared to the manual mode. This is because the closed loop system has a feedback mechanism which will likely throw-off one setting when you change another.

In the course of your day, the system is performing a balancing act between bolus and basal to keep you as close to Auto Mode’s fixed and preset BG target of 120mg/dL by introducing a third input – the micro bolus.

When it is all said and done, the user has control of  two settings only, namely Carb Ratio and Active Insulin time.

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