MySentry, from Medtronic Diabetes is the first remote glucose monitor. It works in conjunction with the MiniMed Revel pump and CGM.
It gives you an-at a-glance overview of everything going on with your Revel pump and CGM. From top left to right: Initials, pump battery life, insulin left in reservoir, pump time, signal strength, next sensor recalibration, next sensor change. The main window shows your last CGM reading, the time it was taken and if there is a rapid rise or fall, an arrow or arrows indicating that.
The unit looks like a big alarm clock and is being aimed at parents of diabetics to help them sleep through the night. The idea is it keeps Mom or Dad from getting out of bed, walking into Jr.’s room, testing him and going back to bed only to do it again in a few hours.
One quick glance at mySentry and you know what your child’s blood sugar is (or at least what the CGM* says it is) and his blood sugar’s trajectory.
How does it work?
MySentry comes in two pieces. The monitor and the outpost.
The outpost goes in your child’s room within 6 feet of the bed. The monitor goes wherever you want to monitor from, within 50 feet of the outpost. In practice I found the distances to be MUCH greater. I set up the monitor on my desk on the first floor of my house and plugged the outpost into one of the kitchen outlets 25 feet away, through 2 walls. Not only did that give me signal everywhere on the first floor, but I was still in range in my bedroom on the second floor and in my driveway!
Of course it depends on the layout of your home, and the kind of wiring in your walls that is potentially blocking signals (my home is 120+ years old with lots of wires hiding back there).
The biggest draw to this product is peace of mind. For those of you who are up several times every night testing, mySentry can get you back to sleep quickly.
When I first started using it, I wasn't quite sold on the idea. I could not have been more wrong. The first Saturday I had mySentry I decided to sleep in. My wife came downstairs to read the newspaper on the couch with a direct line of sight to the monitor. She could see, without waking me up and asking me to test that my bg was about 100 and stable. The graph showed a straight line. When I woke up she immediately told me how wonderful it was to have peace of mind and let me sleep in. For that reason alone I would consider buying my own.
- Setup: Setup is a breeze. I decided not to read the directions and in about 5 minutes I had the unit up and running. MySentry walks you through setup step by step
- Sleep and peace of mind: Helping a parent sleep peacefully is the most compelling reason to consider this product. My biggest questions are why did it take so long for this to come to market and why is Medtronic the only company doing it?
- Alarms: Every time your pump alarms, so does mySentry. Alarms that go off before you are low will now wake you up before you are low. It is not the most pleasing noise but it will certainly wake even the deepest sleepers. There is also a mute setting. (See photo in gallery below.)
- Stealth mode: MySentry has a privacy screen. It is useful when you have guests over and prefer to keep readings private. Alarms still work in privacy mode. (See photo in gallery below.)
- Nightlight: The monitor has a nightlight that can be activated with the touch of a button.
There is not a whole lot I would change about mySentry.
The Bottom Line:
- Screen: The screen is bright and clear. I would like to see a sleep mode added where the screen goes dark after a given amount of time. Even on the dimmest setting it lights up the whole room. When sleeping I put a dark hand towel over it.
- Price: MySentry lists for $3000. Medtronic is offering a launch discount of 20% for a limited time (currently until April 30, 2012) bringing the price down to $2400. They also offer an additional $500 off if you order mySentry with an insulin pump and CGM.
- Insurance Coverage: As of writing this there are no insurance companies that cover mySentry. That said, it is a new product and coverage should change soon. Medtronic also offers a reimbursement toolkit to help you petition your insurance company to cover your unit on a case by case basis.
*Remember CGM does not provide an exact up to the minute glucose value. It measures interstitial fluid and needs to be accurately calibrated several times a day. Always check bg before correcting.
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- MySentry only works with MiniMed Revel pump and CGM. If your child is on both this is a great way to get more sleep and feel confident that your child is safe.
- While cost can be prohibitive, Medtronic does offer different payment options.
- If you are someone who gets up several times a night to check your child's glucose, look into mySentry. It may help you find a more restful sleep.