If you’re in the US, is the Medtronic 630G really worth it?

If you take a look at the Facebook page for the Medtronic 640G, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the US has something similar available, and it’s called the Medtronic 630G. You’d also think that the new 630G is a brilliant new innovation and that it does some amazing things. But if you think that, then you’d better go and double check what you’re getting.

Why you might as well “Just say ‘No thanks'”….

The marketing bumph from Medtronic includes a helpful side by side comparison of the 630G and the 530G, and you can take a look at it here.

If you’ve been told that the 630G is like the 640G, then it’s worth you taking a look at this document. From this you’ll see that it is in fact a 530G in new, waterproof clothes, with the ability to do a remote bolus, name your basal profiles, colour screen and loss of the Connect functionality.  Sure, it has a colour screen and a different menu, which I’m rather a fan of, but it doesn’t do a great deal more than your old pump, or even a 522 before it.

What it doesn’t do is the clever SmartGuard stuff that we get in Europe. The “Predictive Low Glucose Suspend”, which, if you read pretty much every user’s review of the 640G, is the stand out feature. For me and many others, this is the halfway house to an artificial pancreas. Let’s just reiterate this, this is not what the 630G does. So unless you really need to get the waterproofing capabilities of the 630G, or the remote bolus, my view is that you should wait to upgrade. Just say no to the 630G. Why? The 670G…

new-630g

What? The 670G? But that’s not even FDA approved yet?

No, it isn’t. But it’s going through the FDA approval process now. The Critical Trial that Medtronic published earlier in September provides some great results, and comparing those to the OpenAPS data that was in the wild was positive.

Now as an OpenAPS closed looper myself, I can honestly say that the difference between the 640G SmartGuard functionality and what you get with a full Hybrid Closed Loop is night and day. This commercial product is going to make a significant difference to your glycaemic variation. Hybrid closed loop is that good.

But why am I recommending that you don’t bother with the 630G? Well, the 670G is supposed to become available around April 2017. With a host of hitherto unseen functionality in a commercial product. If you take up a 630G now, with a host of functionality that you’ve seen before, you’ll be locked into that for four years.

As I’ve already said, if you need the extended waterproofing or remote bolus functionality, then it’s worth thinking about the change, but if you’re happy with what the 530G does, then I simply wouldn’t bother. The 670G is a paradigm shift that brings complete change to managing diabetes, and if you’re only waiting six months, I’d take the wait.

6 Comments

  1. I think you need to take another look at the chart you linked. The 630G does indeed have SmartGuard. When blood sugar drops below a certain point, the pump suspends insulin delivery for up to 2 hours while blood sugar recovers. Does SmartGuard work differently in the 640?

    And there is no need to be afraid of being locked in with the 630. When the 670 is released, all 630 owners will be upgraded to the 670 for free. Contact Medtronic for details. I was upgraded to the 530 at no charge when it was released under a similar program.

    • On the 640G SmartGuard is Predictive Low Glucose Suspend, which is an automated suspend and resume system that predicts the low and cuts insulin before you get to it, stopping the low ever happening. It then auto resumes when the glucose level has crossed a specific threshold. http://www.diabettech.com/artificial-pancreas/medtronicuk-640g-smartguard-suspend-some-analysis-of-my-own-activity-and-a-few-useful-lessons-gbdoc/

      On the 630G the functionality is the same as the 530G. It’s not Predictive and certainly not smart.

      I wasn’t aware of the upgrade programme, so that’s good to hear, but if you already have a 530, there’s not a huge benefit in moving to the 630, unless that’s a precursor to the free 670.

    • I was told I would have to pay 295 US $ for the upgrade to the 670g if I purchase a 630g now

        • I’m getting my 670g free and the most you could have to pay for the 670g when upgrading is $700. Without insurance the 630g would have cost me almost $9000.

          • Apologies if my question seems dumb, but as you know, I’m not in the US. I presume that you get the 630g on insurance and then pay €700 out of pocket to upgrade to the 670g. If you had remained on the 530g, would you have had to pay $9000 out of pocket, or would that have been covered by insurance?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*