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Medtronic Minimed Paradigm Insulin Pump Review

By on June 29, 2013

paradigm insulin pumpThe Paradigm Insulin pump is the most widely prescribed pump on the market today. Recently, the company has made tremendous advancement in combine pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). Combined with exception data management, the Minimed Paradigm models are favorites of both doctors and users.

Before jumping into the review, it is important to make sure we clarify the different models offered by the company. As all four of the pumps are essentially the same, we will cover them all in this one review.

The MiniMed Paradigm 522 insulin pump and MiniMed Paradigm 722 insulin pump are the exact same device and offer the exact same functionality, with one exception. The 522 has an insulin reservoir of 176 units, while the 722 can carry either the 176 unit or a 300 unit reservoir.

Pediatric Version: Additionally, the company offers a paradigm 522k and a Paradigm 722k device. These are designed for children between 7 and 17 who want to take advantage of the CGM option available to users.

If the child is below 7 or does not want to use the CGM option, then they can use the normal 522 or 722 models. The only other difference in the pediatric device is that the high and low blood glucose alarms are set at lower thresholds to better warn of high or low blood glucose levels.

MANUFACTURER OVERVIEW

MiniMed has a history of developing insulin pumps stretching back 25 years. In 2001, the company was acquired by Medtronic Inc. and renamed Medtronic Diabetes, although it is still widely referred to in promotional material as MiniMed.

Medtronic is a large international medical device company with over 38,000 employees. The company focuses on a number of specialties including heart disease, certain neurological disorders, and of course diabetes and insulin pump therapy.

MiniMed (Medtronic Diabetes) has been a leader in developing new pump technologies including wireless glucose monitoring, continuous glucose monitoring and online training and data management for pump users.

KEY ADVANTAGES

The paradigm meets or exceeds all of the standard features found on most pumps. A full list of the technical aspects is listed below. However, the real factor that distinguishes the 522 and 722 insulin pumps is the glucose monitoring and management aspects.

  • WIRELESS GLUCOSE METER:You can purchase an OneTouch UltraLink glucose meter which can wirelessly transmit your readings to the insulin pump. This advantage is that you can alter your insulin dosage directly with your pump, but more importantly, if you are using the CGM system, you can incorporate the data into the history of glucose management offered by the CGM.
  • GUARDIAN REALTIME: This is MiniMed’s CGM system. Initially, we would note that the Guardian does not take the place of finger stick testing. You will still need to take reading with a glucose meter. Nonetheless, the beauty of the CGM is that it fills in the gaps between finger stick testing. This gap filling paints a complete picture of the highs and lows of your glucose levels throughout your day. The continuous testing also provides a much earlier warning of any highs and lows.

With the CGM system you will have very detailed graphs of your glucose levels. This data really allows you and your doctor to figure out how to adjust your medication and your lifestyle to an unprecedented level of clarity, and hopefully better health

KEY DISADVANTAGES

  • MANY DEVICES: If you go with the CGM system, you will be wearing the following devices: Insulin Pump, Infusion Set (including tubing and cannula), and a MiniLink Wireless Transmitter (and attached glucose Sensor). The MiniLink Transmitter and glucose sensor is attached to your skin and a needle (similar to a cannula) is inserted under your skin. This is a fair amount of devices you will need to keep track of and have attached to you.
  • NOT WATER PROOF:The pump is water resistant (think splashes, most rainstorms, sweat), but not waterproof (do not drop this in the pool).
  • EDUCATION:The devices, monitoring software and analysis of the results will take some time to learn how to use and respond properly.

INFUSION SET

The Minimed insulin pumps use a proprietary infusion set. There are several insertion choices including: quick set, Sure-T, Silhouette and Sof-Set.

BOTTOM LINE

The Medtronic Insulin Pumps are popular for a reason. They have a good history of developing reliable pumps that people like to use. Their CGM and wireless glucose meter technology is very doable for people and can help people stabilize their glucose levels.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model
MiniMed Paradigm 522/722
Size 2 x 3 x 0.8(522), 2 x 3 x 0.8 (722)
Weight (battery/insulin) 3.5oz. (522), 3.81oz. (722)
Battery AAA (1)
Infusion Set Connection Proprietary
Reservoir Size 176u/300u
Basal Profiles 3
Basal Rates 48
Basal Increment 0.05
Basal Range 0.05-35 U/hr
Bolus Increment 0.0-25 Units, 0.1 U steps
Bolus Delivery 3 options
Memory 90 days
Meter Compatibility Yes
Waterproof splash resistant
Occlusion alarm Yes
Over Delivery Alarm Yes
Near Empty AlarmYes
Backlit Display Yes
Warranty 4 years
Software Download Yes
Colors 4