Moments of Wonderful

…rather than a lifetime of nothing special. A diabetes blog.

Moments of Wonderful - …rather than a lifetime of nothing special. A diabetes blog.

mySentry means my security

During the Medtronic Diabetes Advocates Forum, the group was given a demonstration of the mySentry Remote Glucose Monitor.

Others including Meri and Will have written extensively about the product and its benefits.

I have lived alone for most of my life with diabetes. I have been using a CGM since September of 2010. I used to think that I was a light sleeper. Since using the CGM, I have realized I am not.

My CGM used to live on my pillow as I slept, but I still missed the alarms. Then I saw a suggestion from Kerri that I could put it in/on a glass to amplify the sound.

Regardless of any tips or tricks, the first thing I do every morning is click the button to check my CGM to see how many alarms I missed the night before. It is frustrating and it is scary.

And here is the big disclosure. During her closing remarks, Nancy Katz, the Vice President of Consumer Marketing shared with the group that they were offering us use of the mySentry and any products needed to use the device (pump, sensors, etc) for three months.

I am very excited about this opportunity. However, I realize how it sounds.

It isn’t fair.

I 100% agree that it isn’t fair that I will likely to able to use this product and many other people who need it just as much as I do are not able to afford it.

Part of the reason the forum attendees were extended this offer is to hopefully make it easier for everyone else to obtain products like this one. Insurance companies need to see the value of the mySentry before making the fiscal decision to cover it. Those from the forum choosing to use the mySentry will agree to share their data for research purposes.

As I mentioned, this news was announced at the very end of the forum and I don’t know any details other than what I shared here. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail if you have any questions or concerns.

Kim also posted about the mySentry today. Read it here.


Medtronic Diabetes Advocates Forum Disclosure: Medtronic paid for transportation, meals and a hotel room during the forum. Any activities outside of the forum (such as a visit to Sprinkles cupcakes) were my expense alone. I was not paid to attend or write about the forum.

You can read more about my disclosure policy here.

  • Jasmine says:

    I really appreciate you pointing out this issue of fairness, Sara. As I’ve been reading the various blog entries on the Medtronic forum, I must admit that there have been some twinges of jealousy. I don’t think I’m in a position that I need this device right now, but my financial/insurance situation is one where I wish I could also get some sort of corporate help….

    I’m not wanting to leave a too-whining comment, just wanting to say that I appreciate you acknowledging that the situation isn’t the most fair. Still, good luck with the MySentry! I’ll be eager to read more.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:59 am
  • StephenS says:

    Sara, interesting disclosure. You’re right, it isn’t fair, but I think you should accept the offer if you’re really interested. That said, I’m pretty well convinced that this is more Medtronic marketing than anything else. They’re hoping you’ll use it, like it, blog about it. And when the three months are up, they’re hoping you’ll feel like you can’t live without it.

    Now, from what I’ve read of your blog (and others) so far, I feel that if you could or couldn’t live without it after three months, you would say so. And let’s face it: if they didn’t make this offer to your group at the forum, they would have made it to someone else. So I just want to ask that you keep doing what you’re doing, and tell it like it is. Keep us informed on the product. We have a need to know, and I trust hearing about it from you and others in the DOC than from reps in the field. Good luck!

    April 3, 2012 at 11:02 am
  • Colleen says:

    If life was fair, then maybe none of us would have diabetes.
    I appreciate your honesty and look forward to reading about your experiences using the mySentry.
    And, I hope that it helps with insurance coverage for everyone soon.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm
  • Kelly Rawlings says:

    I’m not sure that I understand how the MySentry product would be useful to a single person living alone. It makes sense as a viewing/alarm screen in another room (to transmit the bg readings of a child or dependent adult). How would it help you? Just curious–and I’m sure you’ll address the question should you decide to give it a test run.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:41 pm
    • Sara says:

      The ability to view the readings is not the key thing for me. The benefit is actually the amplification of sound. As I mentioned, I sleep through my CGM alarms. This would give me the ability to actually wake up to hear the alarms and respond accordingly.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm
  • Stacey D. says:

    I have been enjoying reading all the feedback from the forum, including yours. I think it’s a great opportunity they have provided the group but thank you for recognizing that it’s not quite fair to the other people in the diabetes community who do not get to experience something like it. However I also understand that there is no way Medtronic or any other company for that matter can reach out to the entire community. It is way too large!

    April 4, 2012 at 11:04 am
  • Angie says:

    Sara,
    I think it’s an awesome opportunity for you to use the MySentry for three months. I would welcome that opportunity in my home. I’m hoping the price will go down eventually, I really, really want to get one as my son sleeps through all of his alarms. He leaves for college next year and my goal is to have a MySentry for him to take with him to his dorm room. It would give me peace of mind knowing that he and/or his roomate will wake up to the alarms. Can’t wait to hear what you thoughts are on it!

    April 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm
  • Kit says:

    Sara,

    As a parent of a CWD, I really appreciate your discussion of the issue of fairness. You give great comfort with the knowledge that those who benefit from these offers do consider the issue of equity. I worked as an RN for many years at a teaching hospital, and really do appreciate the need for product testing, review, and (to an extent) influx into the market where it can build real life cases that document the benefits of the product in improving outcomes.
    That said, I’m a single mom who gets up multiple times a night to check BG along with a slue of type 1 parents. The multiple night time lows my daughter has (recently accompanied by seizures), drove me to fund raise just for CGM. Part of my grand plan to restore sanity (and improve my ability to function) included purchasing a separate Guardian unit used as you described (fish bowl FTW). With the advent of MySentry, that option no longer exists, making CGM essentially worthless. Like you, we cannot hear the alarms from her pump. A bittersweet pill to be sure.

    Despite all that, the truth is that word does need to get out there regarding the benefits, along with greater pressure on insurance companies to make pumping and CGM accessible to every insulin dependent diabetic. If Medtronic chooses those who write within and for the DOC to use and comment on MySentry (sensible from a marketing standpoint), it’s an important starting point. My only hope is that Medtronic also consider how they respond to PWDs and their families who call seeking assistance with their products given the number of free trials they do offer through out various communities. Your post shows far deeper thought and consideration of the desperation of other PWDs or parents in my shoes than any rep I’v spoken with over the last several months. For that, you have our deepest respect and gratitude!

    April 8, 2012 at 2:27 am
  • Sysy says:

    I think it’s fair because if after 3 months, you want it, you have to pay for it and you have to make that decision knowing that you really like it, which may be frustrating. I also know that this is a marketing technique and so they look at which bloggers get a lot of traffic and are looked at as trusted thought leaders (like yourself) and then they decide to give you the opportunity in hopes you’ll like it and spread word about their product. It’s that simple. Of course, life isn’t simple and we do wish the best available everything for everyone. We can just continue to work together towards that goal and in the meantime, take advantage of opportunities that open up to any of us for our hard work. Blogging is work and it takes dedication. You deserve the opportunity and I will be looking forward to hearing your feedback. Thanks 🙂

    April 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm

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