What brand to go with?

I am interested in getting a CGMS but I am so confused on what brand to go with. I currently have a MiniMed insulin pump so I am drawn to go with there’s since it will link up to my pump automatically. However, I have read posts where people are always messing with their MiniMed sensor trying to get it calibrated correctly. I went to a JDRF expo over the weekend and talked to the FreeStyle Navigator rep for quite some time and now I am leaning towards that one. It will require me to carry one more “thing” with me but their CGMS will work up to 5 feet away so I can just carry it in my purse and only needs calibration once every 5 days. Has anyone tried either of these that might help make my decision easier?  

Having used the CGMS with my Minimed Pump since August I can tell you that it has been amazing. Are there issues with it at times yes. However, the problem tends to stem from user error and not from the system. Is it always 100% definitly not, but would I give it up not so much. It really has made a difference at helping me catchin some high's and low's and that is what I love about it.

The Freestyle navigator is a great sensor, I believe that at one point Gina posted a blog comparing both the MM and the Navigator or was it the Dexcom that she tested. I would ask her if she doesn't respond herself. The only thing that I did not like about the Navigator and still don't like when I look at the demo is both the size of the unit and also the fact that it has a mounting base unit for the entire unit. It seems to be quite bulky to me. Also the fact that it takes 10 hours before you actually can get readings from the unit.

The Dexcom 7 plus could be a good alternative, lately I have been hearing amazing things about it, the trend graphs, and accuracy as well. It seems to be smaller than the Navigator and also offers many of the same features. I am in the process of swtiching pumps so I am also looking to do a different CGMS and the Dexcom is where I am looking right now. It seems to be one of the better ones out there right now and offers I think almost everything that the Navigator does if not more. And definitly more than the MM System does right now. Not that the MM system should be ruled out if you already have the pump.

Thank you so much for the information Brian!

I also thought the navigator had quite a big sensor but was willing to put up with it if someone told me it was better than MiniMeds. How long do you have to wait with the MM CGMS until it gives you readings?

As of right now my insurance company feels this is a luxury item so before I begin my battle with them to get a CGMS covered I wanted to make sure I was making an educated decision. I am definably going to look in to the Dexcom, thanks for that thought!



Both the Minimed and Decom have a 2 hour startup window vs the 10 hour window for the Navigator. There are small tricks out there with the MM that I know of that can make things a little smoother in the morning if that is when you wanted to start a new sensor. However, that is a question that can be answered at some point down the line if you go with the MM over the other two. If I am able to get my hands on the Dexcom before you make a decision I will let you know more about it, however there are those out there who can help if you want more information on it. I know Hayley uses the Dexcom and she is one the one who answered some of my questions as well. Good luck. Any questions though feel free to ask.

I'm at the same kind of point you are, Tara - trying to decide which CGM to add to my minimed pump.  My diabetes educator works for minimed but actually told me the navigator is a better product if you're willing to put up with the extra bulk.  I think the glucometer is even attached to the device, so atleast it takes one machine out of the equation.

I'd love to swap CGM info if either of us digs up anything else...maybe we can help each other.

Something else to know (sorry to burst any Navigator users' bubbles) but Abbott is phasing out or reducing dramatically their focus on the Navigator (i.e. it will probably be no more in a year or so).

I have a Minimed pump - purchased for the same reason you are leaning toward the Paradigm. Tried it out and the information was far inferior to that of the Dexcom. HUGE. Because I value the information so much, I don't mind carrying 2 devices. The Dexcom will be paired with the Omnipod and Animas Ping in the next year and you will be able to upgrade to that option when the time comes.

My experience is definitely not solitary. The Dexcom Plus (out several months ago) offers everything the other systems offer and is typically spot-on accurate. Yes, as with any technology (especially CGM) - there are ups and downs. I'm 18 days away from having to stop endorsing individual products so today I will tell you - hands down best device available is the Dexcom. No questions.

I saw a the Navigator at a diabetes expo I went to, the glucometer is inside the device. The sensor is pretty big! I'm still researching everything thats out there, I am happy to share anything more I learn!

Tara there are only three CGM on the market Dexcom, Freestyle navigator and Minimed

I know and I still can't make up my mind! Good thing there are not more to choose from :) I am pretty sure its between the Dexcom and Minimed right now, and the only reason the Minimed is still an option is because I already have the pump.

Though having it 2 in 1 is convenient, its important to have the best data  possible. You should try out each to see which you prefer. Contact Minimed and Dexcom for the local representatives in your area to arrange for a trial. Alternatively, your physician may have one that you could try out.

I am also on the paradigm mini med pump and was looking to go on the CGM.  I just hope my insurance will cover it!  I also have some worries though because I was talking to a women who came into were I work and she said it wasn't all that accurate.  The sensor was alarming her that she was low but she in fact had her blood sugar right on target.  So, It seemed to me that paradigm has room for improvement in the area of Cgm.  I would be interested in any info you have on othe pumps that also have the CGm as well.

I also have a MM pump and am using the MM CGMS.  I think the brand you use is just one part of it.  Some people haven't been able to get a certain system to work at all for some reason, but another one will.  I'd rate my Minimed as 8 1/2 out 10.  I've had some sensors that gave me problems and drove me crazy but generally I've been very happy.  Even a sensor that tracks well sometimes has a very odd excursion, telling me I'm really high or low when I'm not.  My main complaint about the Minimed system is that it can lag behind overnight.  It seems to rely on the movement of the interstitial fluid so during the day when you're active it's not an issue.  When you're alseep or even just laying on the couch watching TV for a few hours it can start to lag.  I find it lags more catching highs than lows.

FYI to those of you with a pump whose warranty will be up soon - the Dexcom sensors will soon be comunicating/integrated with the Animas pump and the Omni Pod. I've been told as early as January the integrated systems will be available. Very exciting news for Dexcom followers and users of the other pump systems.

I just switched from Minimed Paradigm to Animas Ping. There was (possibly still is) a promotional deal to trade in your old pump for a new Ping. The difference between the two systems are like the difference between an Apple IIe and an iMac computer. Animas is much more technologically advanced than Minimed was (and having explored the OmniPod, the same goes for it as well).

Something I think all people with diabetes should remember - physician can be swayed by drug reps. Minimed has the largest sales force. It puts many of us at a disadvantage because the other pump systems aren't explored or utilized.

I'm absolutely psyched to have my bionic lifeline integrated!


The new Omnipod PDM downloads all its data to the same software as the Navigator receiver so you can have all your data completely integrated with that combination today.  I like having the separate device if only for situations like when I am driving.  I put my Navigator receiver up in a windshield-mount GPS holder and my sugars are a push button away while I am driving.  Having the two units integrated (they supposedly will be in the next year) may be okay - but I would rather have the second free-floating option if only because it seems to fit how I use them...  And yes, before you ask - i am painfully aware that i'm not ANYBODY's target demographic, LOL




I have worn the Medtronics (love the device hate the inserter) the Dexcom, Dexcom 7 and the Navigator and I was happiest with the Navigator – but they all have their advantages and disadvantages – demo as many as you can…

Thanks for all the information!

I am leaning towards two separate device for the same reason, my pump can only go 12 inches away from my body, if I go with the Mini Med CGM I am not sure I would hear the alarms in the middle of the night like if I had a device I could sit on my night stand, and driving it is sometimes hard to pull my pump out of my pocket to look at it.

I thought it would be easy to get trials or samples but actually I am having a hard time. Mini Med will only give me the senor to try but it’s not real so it will not read anything. One other company told me only if I change to their preferred doctor could I get a trial. Well I am calling my insurance company today to start the battle with them, unfortunately my decision will most likely depend on what they will cover :(


Hey Tara -


Where are you located? I have some friends at Dexcom and may be able to put you in touch with someone for a trial.


Also, keep in mind that the Navigator is going the way of the Glucowatch. I don't think it would be the best investment at this time. Diabetes technology requires continuous improvements for competitiveness. That benefits us as new generations are available every year (usually at a reduced price). With the phasing out of Navigator, it will remain the same while the other 2 CGMs will continue to advance.

My understanding is that if an insurance company covers CGM, it will cover any of them. I've not heard of insurance covering only one brand of insulin pump (except very small HMOs) and believe the same is the case for CGM as well.


When I talked to the folks at Abbott the were not aware of any cessation on the Navigator line (there is a new version that has already launched in Europe no more 10 hour start and such) and they aren't sure where the rumors were coming from... Have they come out with a public statement I missed?  I ask only because it seemed like most of the folks talking about this were from the Dexcom camp...




Read below. Know that "scaling back sales" is a euphemism for phasing out the technology. First step. It would be foolish for a company to tell people who still pay for the product now that it will no longer be supported/updated etc. in the future. Loss of income.

April 21, 2009
Hello Aviator, Goodbye Navigator

Diabetic Investor has learned that Abbott (NYSE:ABT) has decided to enter the insulin pump market and officially launch their Aviator insulin pump. Additionally, it appears the company is abandoning the Navigator as they have dramatically cut the Navigator sales force and reassigned its clinical team to other projects.

While details are sketchy as to exactly when the Aviator will be officially launched, Diabetic Investor expects to see something at the upcoming ADA conference this June. The more important question is; Why Abbott is even entering the insulin pump market. As Diabetic Investor has been reporting for sometime the competition has intensified to such a point that even companies with a good product can?t survive. Did Abbott management learn nothing from Smiths Medical recent decision to exit the insulin pump market entirely?

The decision to dramatically scale back Navigator sales is hardly shocking given the units dismal performance. Once the most anticipated continuous glucose monitoring system, Navigator has been a colossal disaster every since the day when Abbott foolishly sought a replacement indication from the FDA rather than an approval as an adjunct device, like everyone else in CGM did. Last to the market, the Navigator faced stiff competition from Dexcom (NASDAQXCM) and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT). The low hanging fruit already picked from the tree Abbott had the almost impossible task of coming to market with a product that was already technologically inferior and in a move only Abbot would do, priced higher than the competition. Even worse once on the market the product performed poorly as patients complained about numerous sensor failures and the devices 10 hour calibration period.

The fact is Navigator is a classic example of a product that was designed by engineers who lacked real world market experience. As one Diabetic Investor source stated; ?The Navigator is an excellent device the only problem is they (Abbott) designed the product without thinking that one day they would have to scale up and actually make thousands of sensors.? Put another way, when you?re conducting clinical trials you can get away with making sensors by hand. Once approved you have to be able to manufacturer efficiently. Abbott management let the engineers run the show and paid little attention to what would happen if the device actually made into the market.

Apparently the factor driving both moves is that Abbott believes that by entering the insulin pump business and scaling back Navigator will drive sales glucose test strips. Just how this will happen is anyone?s guess but as crazy as that sounds that?s the reason for these moves.

Diabetic Investor didn?t think it was possible that Abbott could provide us with even more reasons to show just how clueless they are when it comes to the diabetes device market. It wasn?t enough that after acquiring Therasense they demoralized their employees to the point where they had no choice but to seek employment elsewhere as they just couldn?t stand it as Abbott effectively ran their once thriving company into the ground. Things became so bad at the company that they couldn?t even get a simple glucose monitor through the FDA without somehow screwing things up.

For the moment Roche should feel comfortable that at least in one area they have not gained ground and remain firmly in second place when it comes to clueless management of diabetes devices. Roche has plenty of blunders of their own but Abbott continues to excel at making out and out dumb decisions when it comes to diabetes devices.

You can view the email alert online by logging into your account at http://www.diabeticinvestor.com

David Kliff
Diabetic Investor

Hayley- I'm near Kalamazoo, MI. I would love some help with this!

My insurance company is a very small. I have had countless augments with them, most recently they decided all on their own that my pump was broken (it wasn't) so they would not let me get my supplies, I called for weeks fighting with them but they refused to believe me that my pump was not broken. They suggest I send it to them so they could investigate it (seriously!)  Luckily, Mini Med was able to send me samples to keep me going until my insurance company decided to let me get my stuff. My insurance company makes me get my insulin by mail, once they refused to send it to me and told me if I was out I should just to out and buy some more, again I was saved by free samples at my doctors office.


Tara... Wow... Insurance companies are the weirdest at times. I know full well how much it costs per year for my insurance plan from my diocese. I never come even close to what they charge per year in costs so it frustrates me at times when the company tries to play these games. However, that being said they are a business and they do what they can to make money, even if it is screwing us.

Back to the topic at hand I have been using the Dexcom seven system since Monday, there are things I like about it and things that are just odd since I was on the Minimed system. However I do notice that the accuracy tends to be better and I tend to forget that I am even wearing the sensor more often than not. The Minimed because of the tape and everything else I was more aware of it, not to mention because it was wider I would feel it more often. This one I sometimes wonder if it has fallen off since I don't feel it when I turn and bend.