Jun 29, 2023

New diabetes management system that adjusts and corrects blood sugars automatically is transforming lives

New technology from Medtronic is helping to reduce the need for people with T1D to constantly calculate, strategize and correct.

Antonio Sinopoli knows first-hand the complexities of managing type-1 diabetes (T1D). Diagnosed at age 12, the Canadian-Italian project administrator has lived with the disease for nearly four decades.

Antonio Sinopoli
Antonio Sinopoli

“You have to be thinking about it and planning the day every day, almost every minute of the day,” Sinopoli says of the chronic incurable disease. Since the pancreas no longer produces insulin to control blood glucose, people living with T1D must administer insulin, which requires counting the number of grams of carbohydrates in a meal and matching that to doses of insulin. “You can do everything right, and still get it wrong,” he says. And the consequences of getting it wrong can be life-threatening.

New technology from Medtronic is helping to reduce the need for people with T1D to constantly calculate, strategize and correct. 

Recently licensed by Health Canada, the MiniMed™ 780G system is the first and only insulin pump system in Canada that can automatically adjust and correct blood sugars every five minutes.* The system features an advanced algorithm that is designed to avoid highs and lows, helping users to better control their sugars, and even compensate for underestimated carbs at mealtimes. This advanced system simplifies the multitude of decisions required to manage life with diabetes, reducing the burden on patients.

The insulin pump, indicated for people with T1D aged seven to 80, is now available across Canada. The MiniMed 780G system consists of an insulin pump, including an advanced algorithm known as SmartGuardTM technology which automates insulin delivery based on readings from the Medtronic continuous glucose monitor (CGM). The pump can be paired with the new Medtronic Extended infusion set, which lasts up to seven days, doubling the wear time of conventional infusion sets, the tubing and cannula which deliver insulin from the pump. The system connects to a smartphone app, and integrates with the Apple Watch, allowing care partners like parents and clinicians to monitor glucose trends in real time.

The MiniMed™ 780G system.

Sinopoli, who has dual citizenship and often travels to Milan from his home base in Toronto, acquired his MiniMed 780G system in Italy. The system is a world away from the multiple injections he endured when he was first diagnosed, and from older insulin pumps he has used in the past.

He appreciates the "success" factor of the meal detection algorithm,** a component of advanced SmartGuard technology, that provides automatic adjustments and corrections to glucose levels every 5 minutes§. This allows him to maintain his target range for longer periods without worrying about miscalculating carbs, whether he’s crossing multiple time zones, working out at the gym, or meeting someone for lunch.

“The self-adjusting component for me is essential to what has given me my life back,” he says.

Anna Reid, a 19-year-old criminology student from St. John’s, Nfld., can relate to the life-changing impact of the MiniMed 780G pump. Reid was living in Qatar when, at eight years old, she was diagnosed with T1D. The news came as a shock and with an extraordinarily steep learning curve for Reid and her family. She eventually made the switch from injections to an insulin pump, the latter of which she used for about eight years.

Anna Reid
Anna Reid

Reid admits she was initially hesitant to take the advice of her Qatar-based endocrinologist who recommended she start using the MiniMed 780G system because of its advanced features. However, in 2021, she started using the new system. “When you’re on something for so long, it's hard to think about switching,” Reid says of her previous pump. “But I’m so glad I did.” The new pump helped her have greater control over her target glucose levels, increasing the time she spends in target range throughout the day, while reducing the number of inputs and calculations that would otherwise be required. 

“I love the outdoors — hiking, walking and skating,” she says. “Just being able to do impromptu things is so much easier. I don’t have to worry if I have my test kit and all the supplies —I can just go. I don’t have to worry about highs and lows. It’s like a second person helping me. I have so much more freedom.” 

For people like Sinopoli and Reid, the new technology has already proven to be a game-changer. “The burden has been removed — the burden of thinking about diabetes more than 1,000 times a day,” Sinopoli says. “I see the improvement at the clinical level, and I have a much better quality of life.” 

Learn more at medtronicdiabetes.ca

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* Some user interaction is required
** Taking a bolus 15 – 20 min before a meal provides significant improvement in post meal control. We recommend taking a meal bolus.
† Refers to auto correct, which provides bolus assistance. Can deliver all correction doses automatically without user interaction, feature can be turned on and off.
§ Refers to SmartGuard™ feature. Individual results may vary. User interaction required.