About three weeks ago, I embraced a significant shift in my diabetes management journey by transitioning from the trusted Medtronic Minimed 670G to the innovative 780G model. Both pumps are Hybrid Closed-Loop (HCL) as they adjust insulin in real time based on CGM reading, but the 780G algorithm is much better at these adjustments. It appears to really be learning me over time and improving! Week 3 is noticeably better than week 1.
I was really excited about this pump because of all I’ve read from other users in the Medtronic 670G, 770G, 780G Support Group on Facebook. I learned that the Medtronic Minimed 780G Insulin Pump isn’t actually new — it’s been in use in Europe for a few years. It just took a long time for the FDA to approve it for use in the United States.
I placed my order for the 780G insulin pump on May 15th, the very day pre-orders were made available. After a ten-week wait and a handful of phone calls to Medtronic, my eagerly anticipated insulin pump finally arrived on my doorstep. However, a minor hiccup emerged—the transmitter was back-ordered, causing a slight delay because my older transmitter proved incompatible. The transmitter arrived about a week later, and after a quick virtual training, I was ready to begin!
Here’s an in-depth exploration of why making the switch to the 780G could be an excellent decision:
1. Smartguard’s 100 mg/dL Target
The Medtronic 670G came with a fixed glucose target of 120 mg/dL under its Smartguard auto mode. This translated to the pump’s continuous efforts to regulate your basal rate, aiming for that 120 mg/dL mark. Enter the 780G with its adjustable target glucose feature, empowering users to set it at 100, 110, or 120 mg/dL. The drive towards maintaining a near-normal blood glucose level becomes more attainable with the 780G, potentially leading to a lowered A1C. Consistently witnessing my blood glucose levels hover between 90-110 mg/dL is truly heartening. I could not achieve this with the 670G in auto mode. I sometimes would run the 670G in manual mode to get better management, but it was extra work for me!
2. The Power of Auto Corrections
One of the defining attributes of the Medtronic 780G Insulin Pump is its auto-correction capability. At five-minute intervals, the pump evaluates the need for an auto-correction—an insulin bolus adjustment—to keep you within the desired range. These adjustments appear as vertical lines above the graph.
Watch this video to learn more about the algorithm
3. Embracing Tranquility: Reduced Alarms
A remarkable shift in the pump-user relationship is a standout feature of the 780G. The days of frequent alarms are now behind me. The 780G has revolutionized this aspect by dramatically minimizing the need for manual intervention. With most alarms disabled and the pump assuming the role of automatic bolusing, I’ve reclaimed precious mental space. Liberating myself from the constant ping of alarms is exhilarating. The pump’s adaptive learning capabilities, coupled with meal detection technology, further streamline the process, ensuring better time in range and fewer disturbances.
NOTE: I still bolus for meals. It’s recommended to bolus before meals for better time in range. However, if you do miss a bolus, the pump is supposed to be able to handle it. I haven’t tried the meal detection technology yet.
4. No Calibrations Needed!
Bid farewell to the need for daily sensor calibrations—the 670G’s regimen of two fingerpricks a day is a thing of the past. With the 780G, there is no requirement to calibrate, not even at sensor start. However, calibrating occasionally is still a great idea. But it’s nice that it’s not a twice a day requirement. This certainly contributes to the fewer alarms as well.
5. Uninterrupted Connectivity: Bluetooth Brilliance
With the 670G, I had to wear the pump on the same side of my body as my sensor, or it could lose signal. It would also sometimes lose signal while I was sleeping, it I laid on top of the sensor.
Unlike the 670G, the 780G uses bluetooth. I’ve had absolutely zero signal loss issues.
In summary – Auto Mode was good on the 670G, it’s amazing on the 780G
I previously wrote about auto mode with the 670G and I was certainly impressed. Then, as I became a power user, I started switching into manual mode so that I could sugar surf. I disliked the high blood glucose that I would often get when in manual mode. On work day mornings, I need more insulin, and the 670G auto mode just couldn’t keep up. The 780G auto mode has seemed to learn this, and it is able to handle this morning need well. On the 670G, I would bolus when I woke up, and then sometimes switch into manual mode. On the 780G, I don’t have to do anything… The only thing I do is set it to “Temp Target” if I’m going to exercise in the morning, which disables the auto boluses and aims for a higher target so that I can exercise without going low. Otherwise, it’s just bolus for each meal. That’s all I have to do!
Success! Life is now eaiser with better technology.
August has been a busy month
The week I started on the 780G, is also the same week that I published my first book: Success with LADA Diabetes: Achieving Optimal Health with Diet, Exercise, and Insulin I promised in that book that I would follow up on my site about my insulin pump experiences. This is just a small bit of what I have to share — much more coming soon!
If you have LADA diabetes, or are interested in it, or know someone who is, please check out my book, and visit my site lada-diabetes.com for LADA specific topics. (Did you know that LADA is often misdiagnosed as Type 2?)
Thank you! ?