Scott Hanselman

The New Minimed Paradigm 512

August 14, '03 Comments [1] Posted in Diabetes | Movies
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I had lunch with a friend of mine, one of the Minimed Regional Consultants, who showed me the new Paradigm 512 Pump with the WIRELESS Glucose Meter from BD.  

In a word, yum.  

Having a pump takes getting used to, no doubt.  Everyone wants to ask "Do you sleep in it?"  "How do you, um...you know?"

When you're connected to another device 23.9 hours a day that is basically acting as a surrogate organ for you, you grow attached (literally and figuratively) to it.  I can give myself insulin (called a "bolus") with my eyes closed.  I can use the Minimed 508 Remote Control, I can use the EasyBolus with Vibration for feedback. 

But it's the little improvements in my external organ that really affect my quality of life.  When I got a Blood Sugar meter (the UltraSmart) that had a backlight - WOW.  It made checking my blood sugar in a movie theater possible...more importantly, that improvement made me feel slighly less diabetic. 

The 512 is one such improvement.   I've long advocated and even predicted 3 years ago a wireless glucose meter/pump.  Why should I have to carry around two devices with screens, batteries, buttons, etc.  Well, I still need to have two devices, but with the Paradigm 512 the pump is told wirelessly what my blood sugar is right after I test it!  You don't even have to tell the meter, or press OK...it's transparent.

Then, the best part, on the pump you then run the Bolus Wizard.  Having previously programmed the pump with insulin ratios (multiple ones even, by time of day!) you enter in how many carbos you're going to eat, and the Bolus Wizard suggests how much insulin you should take.  It considers the ratios, of course, but also your current blood sugar AND the amount of active insulin!

For example, if you took 2 units to correct a high an hour ago, and now your blood sugar is 100.  Clearly you're headed toward a low.  If you tell the pump you're going to eat 30 grams of carbs and your ratio is 1:15, it might suggest 2 units, right?  WRONG.  You've already got at least one unit of ACTIVE insulin in you.  If it suggested 2units, you'd be right back where you are now, facing a low in a few hours.  Instead it might recommend 1.2 units (just an example) and get you back on target. 

It's THESE kind of improvements that get us one step closer to feeling normal.

I can't wait until June 26th, 2004 when my warranty runs out and I get the latest and greatest from Minimed.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Monday, 20 September 2004 12:28:56 UTC
The 511 is so problematic that if I had the cash to purchase a new one it wouldn't be this brand nor would I ever do business with the company ever again. They are rude and their excuses for why their pumps fall short of what they advertized is totally unsatisfactory.

I have never heard of a medical device that fell so short of it's intented designed and the company's solution was to tell the users to just not use the product as it was intented. No offer to fix, replace, etc. I really think the FDA needs to come in and clean this company up or close it down.

When mine broke on a trip and the first thing the company stated was "You dropped it, didn't you". I said I was sleeping as it was 1 am in the morning and no I had not fallen out of bed nor come to think of it even wet my pants".

The reason I am so upset is the customer service has become so poor, the sales pitching so bad to "buy" their software and overall the refusal to fix the poor quality of their design. I had reported problems prior to the failure above such as that I was finding that if I twisted in certain ways the pump acted as if I had pushed buttons and would alarm. They weren't interested and told me to call them if the pump failed. So I stopped reporting it and live with the piece of junk and am waiting to replace it with some other company's. Not all hope is lost as new makes and models are coming out and one isn't stuck with MiniMed!!!! YES.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.