You may recall in the Summer that I wrote about the new Medtrum Insulin Pump and CGM that was due to be launched in the UK. Well the Medtrum A6 Touchcare System is finally here and I can give you more accurate information about this remarkable system. What is so exciting about this system, is that it’s the first tubeless insulin pump and CGM system to feature predictive low suspend. Making it the world’s first tubeless, semi-closed loop insulin management system.
I was fortunate enough to attend a Pump event at Addenbrookes Hospital at the weekend, where all the major Insulin Pump companies were presenting their wares. I really went with the sole intention of scoping out this new Tubeless Insulin Pump that looks set to give Omnipod a run for their money.
Here I’ll tell you what I found out, firstly about the Pump, followed by the CGM and then finally I’ll explain, what is so special about using the 2 together. You can choose to use just the pump and/or the CGM.
MEDTRUM A6 TOUCHCARE PATCH PUMP
First of all as you can see it’s tubeless, my teenage son currently has the Omnipod and loves the freedom that Tubeless allows. No need to remove for sports, swimming etc. Removing the risk of forgetting to put it back on afterwards. Plus it means no tangles and less issues with air bubbles in tubing. This said, patch pumps aren’t for everyone some people prefer a tubed pump as the infusion site is smaller though they do then need to accommodate the tubes and find somewhere to clip the actual pump to their clothes, which can mean wearing a pump belt. Depending where you choose to site a patch pump it’s very discrete and can’t be seen under clothes which is why so many teenagers love patch pumps.
It’s hard to tell if this patch pump is smaller or larger than the Omnipod it certainly looked longer to me but possibly slimmer, it’s a very similar size either way.
The insulin reservoir will hold 200 units. This is similar to the majority of insulin pumps currently available. I would have liked to see 300 units as for teenagers like my son this will possibly mean changing the pump every couple of days instead of 3.
The minimum basal this pump can deliver is 0.05 units which may be unsuitable for some very young children that have tiny insulin requirements.
The handset certainly was an improvement on the clunky Omnipod handset, much smaller and fits in the palm of your hand. It wasn’t touch screen so didn’t look as cool as say the Roche Insight or Cellnovo handsets.
One feature that was different in comparison to the Omnipod was the patch is actually 2 parts that clip together. In the picture above you can see the coloured section, this part is the brains of the pump, it’s about the size of a AAA battery. This is reusable and not disposable, the white section holds the reservoir etc, and is discarded each time. This feature could be significant as I would imagine it makes the system cheaper than Omnipod. I know many hospitals in the UK don’t offer Omnipod as it’s more expensive than tubed pumps.
MEDTRUM A6 TOUCHCARE CGM
As you can see the sensors for the Medtrum CGM look very similar to the Dexcom system. However there are a few differences that you should know about.
Firstly is the application, as I’ve previously reported the Dexcom insertion process, is fiddly and well, just plain horrible, however the Medtrum system offers automated sensor insertion, which is quick and simple pressing buttons. They describe it as virtually pain-free.
Like Dexcom the sensor offers a 7 day life, I have no idea at this stage if sensor life can be extended in the same way as you can with Dexcom.
Accuracy and features are in line with the Dexcom G5 it offers a 9% MARD and readings are sent to your mobile phone, parents have the ability to remotely monitor their children through their mobile.
This system has 15-day data storage with no risk of data loss apparently, it records and uploads data automatically.
One big difference between the Medtrum CGM and Dexcom G5 is the transmitter life. Dexcom G5 transmitters have a 3 month warranty after which they cut out automatically. In comparison the Medtrum has a 12 month warranty and the transmitter is rechargeable.
In terms of cost, sensors are priced at £40.00 and the Transmitter at £200.00. It’s hard to compare this to Dexcom Pricing as we don’t know if these sensors can be extended, we typically got 2.5 weeks out of each Dex sensor. Whilst Dexcom sensors are more expensive than Medtrum’s over the course of time Medtrum’s would work out more expensive than Dexcom if these sensors cannot be extended. The transmitter is the same as Dexcom but should last at least 4 times as long. Though I should point out it’s not necessarily recommended to extend the Dexcom Sensor but we personally had no issues with this.
PREDICTIVE LOW SUSPEND
As I mentioned above you can choose to just wear the A6 Patch pump on it’s own, or keep with your current pump and go for their CGM offering, however the magic really happens when you combine the 2 together. You can then utilize the Predictive Low Glucose Suspend feature, which helps to prevent severe hypos and reduce the number of hypos the wearer experiences.
Insulin delivery automatically stops when the sensor predicts that glucose will approach the set lower limit in a set period of time. Insulin will automatically resume when glucose is back in range.
Medtrum are not the first company to offer predictive low suspend, the latest Medtronic Insulin Pump also offers this feature however Medtrum are the first company to offer this valuable feature on a tubeless pump.
I’m certainly excited by this system and hope to convince my son to take advantage of the 1 month trial offered by Medtrum before he is due for his pump renewal. He will be 14 at pump renewal and I’m aware that whatever pump we choose next will be the pump that he starts university with, so as a parent I’d be keen for him to take advantage of Predictive Low Suspend at uni when I can’t be there to night test, especially with the dangers of drinking alcohol.
The Medtrum A6 Touchcare System is new to the UK, I have no idea how reliable either the insulin pump or CGM are as it’s early days with no reviews our experiences shared by those that have worn it, we’ll hopefully have a better idea as more people trial or use this system. Though Medtrum are a Chinese company and have been selling their products in China for over 8 years, though I’m not clear, if that includes this particular pump.
If you’d like to keep updated with users views or share your views of this pump there is now a dedicated facebook group for the Medtrum Insulin Pump and/or CGM. You can find and join that here.
Feel free to share your thought’s on the Medtrum A6 Touchcare System, insulin pump and CGM in our comments section below.