The CGM tri-lemma: Abbott, Dexcom, or Minimed?

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After a year and a half on Abbott’s Freestyle Navigator Continuous Glucose Monitoring System, I’m back to square one. I loved my Abbott. Sure, it had its problems — a bulky transmitter, adhesive that refused to stick, an annoying tendency to reject new sensors. But seeing my blood glucose levels in near real time? Amazing.

So I was very sad when my Abbott receiver broke in the midst of my trip around the world. I had planned for such contingencies and actually had a back-up — but it broke, too. Then my transmitter cracked. I decided to stop wasting $75 sensors, wait till I got home, and then get them to send me a replacement.

Unfortunately, when I called Abbott to ask about this, I found out that they have not sent out any new transmitters or receivers since last May. Perhaps other readers know more about what’s actually going on, but my understanding is that there was some paperwork glitch with the FDA, and despite the fact that Abbott has the transmitters and receivers on hand, they are not able to send them out. Regardless of the reason, though, the fact remains: I can’t get a replacement, and no one can tell me when that situation might change. Instead, Abbott is offering a $2,000 refund for the receiver/transmitter, and $75 for each unused sensor.

I’ve pretty much decided to take them up on the offer. Yes, the prospect of getting pre-approval from my insurance company sounds dreadful, but since it’s a new plan, I might have to do that anyway. And I don’t want to keep waiting.

So here is my question to the SweetLife community: what are your experiences with the Minimed and DexCom Seven Plus Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems? I’m on a Minimed pump, so I’m tempted to try theirs since the numbers appear directly on the pump’s screen. But I’ve heard bad things about its accuracy. I was actually surprised to hear that DexCom, formerly the bottom of the lot, is now considered to be at the top (at least by my former diabetes educator). What are your experiences? In particular, how’s the DexCom’s accuracy? Comfort? (Those sensor wires look a lot more uncomfortable than the Abbott.) Adhesive?

I’ll post more information here as I find it, but in the meantime, I’m very interested to hear your thoughts. After several months without my CGM, I’m eager to stop driving blind.

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Rochelle
Rochelle

MM CGM most definitely was worth a trip to the garbage can!  I agree with what I’ve read here.  I have had my Dexcom 7 system for a little over a year, and overall have been happy despite the lack of integration. Does anyone have comparisons between the Dexcom new G4 and the 7 system?  I’ve had some pretty bad experiences with the 7 system sensors over the last month or so (bad batch?) and seriously wonder if changing to the G4 means going from bad to equally as bad costing more money.  Am not interested in any new bells and… Read more »

jerry
jerry

I have used the Minimed for about 4 years.  I would say it is just barely worth it.  Painful, expensive and inaccurate.  BG is frequently 100 mg/dl different from the reading it is giving me, espeically at night.  On the other hand, when it works it alerts me of crashes I might have otherwise missed.  Every box of sensors makes me say, “Maybe this one will be the last box I order.”

Ronbo
Ronbo

Dexcom will let you try theres for free, Please try it. I switched from Minimed CGM and have never looked back.

PS I do use the Minimed pump, with Dexcom 7 Plus CGM

Ian
Ian

I have been on the MM CGM for several years but have nothing to compare it to. I have heard Dex sensors are alot less painful. Any info on needle size of each? I know I dread evey time I need to insert a new MM sensor and sometimes have to “help” the insertion device. NOT fun.

Rebecca
Rebecca

I have used both systems.  Dexcom is hands down my favorite of the two.  Integrated pump and cgms is only great if the cgms is reliable and accurate.  Also, it is difficult to hear the cgms alarms on the MM at night because it will be under your covers.  MM was not near as accurate, and far more difficult to use, plus painful.

Sam Gellman

Seems like they’re both good from the feedback here.  I’m in the camp that is crazy, nuts, can’t live without Dexcom, but I have no comparison.  It has changed my life completely.  But I think that’s CGM technology as opposed to Dexcom itself.  They give you free sensors when yours go bust, my insurance covers the whole thing, the accuracy is almost always good, the directional stuff is key, and I could just ramble forever about how much its a life changer. 

Karen Graffeo

I’ve been on the MM CGM for two years now, and I absolutely love it!!!! I know many have complained about accuracy issues but I have never experienced this. For the most part, my CGM is usually very close to my finger stick reading. And I really love that I don’t have to carry around a separate receiver – it’s great having all of the info displayed right on my pump. In the end, I think it ultimately comes down to personal preference and how the systems work on your body. If there is any way to trail each system… Read more »

Kelly Haro
Kelly Haro

MY daughter uses the Minimed Revel Pump and CGM.  WE LOVE IT!!  I would recommend it.  I love that all the information is on the one device.  I love all the functions that are with it such as the predictors.  We upload all the information via Carelink and our provider is then able to see the data and where we need to make adjustments.  I would recommend this again and again.  It is not always 100% accurate, but it definately has caught lows and highs that we would have missed without the CGM.

Monica Narang
Monica Narang

Currently, I have the Minimed Paradigm Pump and CGMS.  It is working really well for me so far.  They have definitely improved the CGMS and the readings are more accurate now than they were before.  The sensors are not too difficult to insert and the entire system is really easy to use. You can also upload your results (although I haven’t done this yet) via a clip drive.  While Meditronic’s customer service is not all that great, the Minimed Pump and CGMS have been excellent for me personally.  I would really recommend the CGMS and Minimed Paradigm!
Monica Narang

Laura G.
Laura G.

I’ve only tried the Dexcom–I chose it after lots of research and comparison, and I’ve now had one for 16 months and have been very happy with it. Its accuracy and reliability have been extremely good overall, and I generally trust it for long periods of time each day without constantly double-checking results with my meter. Bad sensors reveal themselves fairly easily and their terrific customer service has been very willing to replace them–I’ve had only two or three since I started using the Dex, and not a single one in the last six months with the newer lots of… Read more »

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