Data from an 83-person study of Medtronic‘s (NYSE:MDT) MiniMed 670G hybrid closed-loop insulin pump showed that nearly one-fifth of participants stopped using the device after struggling with the technical demands of the system, researchers reported.
Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G device is designed to automatically track and adjust a patient’s blood sugar levels by measuring blood glucose every five minutes and automating the administration of insulin.
“Closed-loop insulin pump therapy is the most exciting new development in type 1 diabetes in decades because it acts as an artificial pancreas,” co-lead investigator Dr. Gregory Goodwin said in prepared remarks. “But this technology needs to become more user-friendly.”
Goodwin and his colleagues at the Boston Children’s Hospital diabetes clinic prescribed the MiniMed 670G to 83 patients who requested it between May 2017 and September 2018. All of the users had experience with an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor.
The participants, who ranged in age from 6 to 25 years old, were trained by a manufacturer’s representative.
Sixteen patients stopped using the technology within months, citing dissatisfaction with the number of calibrations the device required or with the device forcing exits from auto mode.
The researchers reported that, on average, after 97 days using auto mode technology, the group experienced an A1c decrease of 0.27% – a difference that was statistically significant, but researchers noted that the decrease was less than that reported in controlled clinical trials.
“Patients can reap the full benefits of the system in auto mode but this technology is demanding and requires a technically sophisticated patient or parent to use it,” Goodwin added.
Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G won FDA approval in September 2016.