Medtronic received FDA approval to sell the mySentry Remote Glucose Monitor in the U.S. on January 4, 2012. This remote monitor allows the parents of a child with diabetes to see their child’s continuous glucose monitor (CGM) data during the night from a Paradigm Revel insulin pump while they sleep in another room.
The child’s pump sends readings to the mySentry Outpost that needs to be within 3 feet of the pump, and then transmits the signal up to 50 feet away to a separate monitor that displays readings and gives alerts. The outpost and monitor only work with one pump/CGM combo at a time or Revel Pump or CGM sold separately.
About the Monitor
The monitor is the size of a clock radio with a color screen with tactile buttons on its face and top, plus a "Quick Status Bar" along the top. The status bar shows:
- the pump's battery level
- how many units of insulin remain in the pump
- the signal strength between the monitor and the pump
- the number of hours until the sensor needs to be recalibrated
- and the number days before the glucose sensor needs to be changed
The icons in the Quick Status Bar are color coded to show if anything needs to be done soon. Green icons mean they are ok, yellow means some action needs to be taken soon, and red means action is needed now. Glucose readings on the monitor duplicate those on the pump’s normal screen displays. A "Glucose Snapshot Screen" shows the current glucose, the time, and a trend arrow to reveal how the glucose is changing. A "Glucose Trend Screen" shows glucose trend graphs for 3, 6, 12, and 24 hour time periods.
When alarms, like the predictive and threshold alerts, sound on the pump, they also sound in the monitor. Unlike the pump, the monitor’s volume can be set high enough to waken even deep sleepers. There's also a snooze button on the monitor. When the snooze is selected on the parent’s monitor, the child’s pump alarm continues.
The mySentry costs a hefty $3,000 with a 20% discount for early adopters, plus another $500 discount if a new pump and CGM are purchased at the same time. No insurance coverage of this device is currently available.
Compare this to a baby monitor like the Philips Avent DECT SCD510 that sells for about $120. It has a series of small LED lights on the parent’s monitor that get brighter according to the pump’s alarm volume, so parents can notice a pump alarm or crying by visual cues or sound or even with the unit set on mute.
Questions & Concerns
One wrinkle in purchasing a mySentry RG Monitor is that the Veo pump with basal suspend may become available in the US in the next few months It is not clear whether the mySentry will work with the new Veo.
Many wireless products like older cordless phones, laptops, netbooks, microwave ovens, and game consoles share local radio frequencies and may interfere with each other. It is not clear how often signal interference might occur from one of these devices or whether the mySentry’s signaling is protected from this interference. DECT or digitally encoded devices like the Phillips Avent above are protected from the vast majority of signal interference.
Despite these concerns, this device is very promising. A lower price tag would make it a hit anywhere.