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Kerryn Welsh, Public Relations, +61 2 8876 6162

World's first insulin pump with real-time continuous glucose monitoring now available in Australia

MiniMed Paradigm® REAL-Time System marks major step toward an artificial pancreas

SYDNEY — August 22, 2006 — Australians with type 1 diabetes now have access to the world’s most technologically advanced diabetes management system. 

The MiniMed Paradigm® REAL-Time Insulin Pump and Continuous Glucose Monitoring System is the first therapy in the history of diabetes management to integrate an insulin pump with real-time continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).

Fingerstick measurements, the current standard for monitoring glucose control, only reveal a glucose value at a single moment in time – much like a snapshot using a digital camera. In contrast, real-time continuous glucose monitoring is like watching a movie – patients can follow the storyline and anticipate what’s going to occur next.

This combination of real-time CGM and insulin pump therapy will help patients take immediate corrective or preventive action to maintain healthy glucose levels and delay or prevent diabetes-related complications, including coma, blindness, kidney failure, amputation, impotence, and heart disease.

“In order to manage diabetes properly, patients must continually understand what affects their glucose patterns and continually take action to maintain control,” said Dr Tim Jones, Head of the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Perth’s Princess Margaret Hospital.

“By viewing trends and real-time glucose information, patients can program their pump to start or stop insulin delivery upon demand, or they can eat carbohydrates to counteract for low blood sugar.


“Timely information coupled with precise insulin delivery is why this integrated insulin therapy has the potential to significantly improve diabetes management.” Dr Jones said.

The new device integrates two components, a real-time CGM system and a MiniMed Paradigm insulin pump.  Every five minutes, via a transmitter, the CGM system relays glucose readings from a glucose sensor to the insulin pump, which displays to 288 readings a day – nearly 100 times more information than three daily fingersticks.  Real-time glucose information displayed on the insulin pump allows patients to take immediate action to improve their glucose control after taking a confirmatory fingerstick.   

“The availability of the MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time System opens the door to the next generation of diabetes management,” said Deborah Davis, General Manager, Medtronic Diabetes Australasia.

“As this is the first integrated insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system ever approved, we feel this new therapy has the potential to revolutionise the way patients manage their diabetes.” Ms Davis said.

The System’s continuous glucose sensor is a tiny electrode that is inserted under the skin and is typically discarded and replaced after three days of use. The sensor measures glucose in the interstitial fluid found between the body’s cells. Glucose measurements are relayed to the insulin pump, which displays the glucose value, three-hour and 24-hour trend graphs, as well as arrows to indicate how quickly glucose is moving up or down. In addition, an alarm alerts patients when glucose levels become too high or too low. 

Current standards for assessing glucose control include HbA1C tests and fingerstick measurements, yet both have limitations. An HbA1C test, which measures glucose control over a three-month period, is important for long-term management, but it is only an average and does not reveal day-to-day glucose fluctuations that can damage the body.

Fingerstick measurements only reveal a glucose value at a single moment in time. As a result, patients are unable to detect approximately 60 percent of low glucose (hypoglycemia) events, and have difficulty assessing glucose fluctuations while they sleep. In contrast, real-time CGM allows patients to view glucose trends throughout the day and night, and understand how fast, and in what direction, their glucose levels are heading. By discovering how diet, exercise, medication and lifestyle affect their glucose levels, patients can make more informed self-management decisions and achieve a greater sense of confidence when managing their disease.


Integrating an insulin pump with real-time CGM is a major step toward the development of a ‘closed-loop’ insulin delivery system that may one day mimic some functions of the human pancreas. Medtronic is testing future systems that would employ advanced scientific algorithms to proactively recommend insulin dosages to patients. Through this process, Medtronic anticipates developing an external, closed-loop system designed to simplify and improve patient diabetes management.

The MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time System includes a ‘smart’ MiniMed Paradigm insulin pump, which has a powerful built-in Bolus Wizard® calculator to manage the complex diabetes math for patients. Smart insulin pumps recommend insulin dosages after considering the amount of insulin still active in the body, helping patients avoid dangerous hypoglycemic episodes caused when too much insulin is delivered.

Patients wanting more information about the new MiniMed Paradigm REAL-time system can visit:


About Insulin Pump Therapy
An insulin pump is a small pager-size device that delivers insulin around the clock, much like a healthy pancreas. It is the most advanced method for precise and adjustable insulin delivery. Unlike injection therapy, insulin pump users can program their insulin pump to deliver insulin at varying rates to meet their changing insulin needs throughout the day and night. In addition, insulin can be delivered on demand at the touch of a few buttons. Many patients experience improved quality of life with insulin pump therapy, ridding themselves of multiple injections, strict meal schedules and rigid sleep patterns that are associated with injection therapy.

About Medtronic Diabetes
Medtronic Diabetes ( is the world leader in insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring. The company’s products include external insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and related disposable products.

About Medtronic
Medtronic, Inc. (, headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology, alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world.

Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 28, 2006. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.

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