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…
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.