Closed Loop CGM

This blog. It's been a while. There's good reason for that, however. Most of the tech/developer things I would write about here I get to talk about on the podcast I've been recording weekly for over a year now. Since it began, we've changed the name. It's now Cup of Tech.

Just over 18 months ago, I wrote extensively about using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) for the first time, after 16 years of manually drawing blood every time I wanted to know my blood sugar level. It's safe to say that the Dexcom CGM was life changing. For all of my complaining, and unhappiness with the lack of control over the alarms, the Dexcom is worthwhile. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. I've consistently had the best HBA1c results of my life in the last 18 months, and my diabetes control continues to improve on a quarterly basis.

So, what am I getting at? This blog has been updated less and less recently because the podcast is my outlet for talking about software development news. However, I really enjoyed writing the 5-part series on CGM, and the feedback I received was positive. Today I'm trying out a new CGM, and I figure this is as good of a place as any to write about it.

As a result of upgrading my insulin pump to the latest and greatest Medtronic model, they've thrown in 6 months of their CGM system for "free." I'm not really sure what to expect. It's generally agreed upon that Dexcom make the best CGM product in the world. It's also unquestioned that it is the most accurate, and requires the least calibration. So, why the downgrade? Well, you had me at free. Only kidding. Well, somewhat. As Medtronic make both the insulin pump and the CGM, the new model of insulin pump can do some fancy things that I'm keen to try out. Things such as automatically adjusting insulin levels based on real-time blood glucose data. If my sugar rises slowly overnight, the Medtronic 670G system is supposed to notice this and increase insulin levels slowly until blood sugar is back in check.

The promise of the "closed-loop" 670G system is exciting. I'm not sure how well it will work in practice, but I'll hopefully write about the experience on this blog. The extra calibrations will be annoying, but I'd like to be at a point with this CGM system where I can trust the readings it gives. I'm not sure if that's a realistic goal, having heard a few things about its accuracy especially when compared to Dexcom. I'm also not set on sticking with the Medtronic system for all of the 6 months. One of the nice things about the Dexcom is that it's almost "set and forget." I do the calibrations when I can, and know that I can always trust the readings it gives - they're incredibly accurate. If the Medtronic CGM doesn't allow for this same level of peace-of-mind, switching back to the Dexcom will be the best option.

As with any new technology, I'm excited to try it out. Could be great, could be horrible. Being me, I'll be skeptical at first but would love to be proven wrong.