Medtronic Guardian Connect: My First Thoughts

Well, it's been a whole week of trying out the Guardian Connect and I'm ready to give some initial thoughts on using it. My very first thoughts from the initial days of trying it were how incredibly liberating it is, to be able to check my glucose levels on my phone. I've found it to be a very discrete way to check what's going on, without anybody around you even realising that you're doing it. Which I found this particularly useful at meal times.


Discrete Diabetes Data At Mealtimes


The app and data screen themselves are very easy to read, enabling you to view the hours of the day for CGM (continuous glucose monitoring) that you wish to see, of 3hrs, 6hrs and 12hrs. I find that I like to reflect back over my glucose levels especially when waking up first thing in the morning to find out what's been going on. What was particularly interesting, was that I had a Fitbit for my birthday, which is able to record data on sleep patterns, also to an app. During the week there was a day where I woke up feeling particularly unrested and when I put both sets of data together, what I observed was that I had woken up at 3am according to the Fitbit. On the Guardian Connect (GC) app I could see that my glucose levels had started to rise from the same point. There could be numerous reasons for the spike, perhaps my dawn effect starting quite early. But I thought it was really informative to be able to take this data and use it in an additional way.


Guardian Connect Data and Fit Bit Data On Sleep


During the initial setup of the app, I was able to set glucose ranges that I wished the app to alert me when my levels went outside of for highs and lows. When the GC observes that my glucose levels when out of these ranges, or were moving in that direction quickly, as depicted by 3 arrows on the screen. It then alerts me to what's going on with a sound if my phone is on loud, or a vibration if my phone is on silent. As I have enabled notifications from the app, it can even do this when the home screen is locked. Which was really useful when I went to the cinema the other day and it alerted me that I was heading in the direction of a low.


A Screen Shot Of The Alert Before Low Notification


I decided to use the GC for the first week without my normal Enlite sensors that have SmartGuard (a system that predicts and is able to suspend the pump before a low) because I wanted to put myself in the shoes of somebody who would use it as a stand alone device. Whilst I did miss the suspend before low, I liked not having to get my pump out frequently to check my glucose level on the screen. I did miss that my glucose monitor speaks to the pump and not the app. But it really wasn't too intrusive to enter my glucose levels manually when testing so that the app could allow the sensor to calibrate. I found that other people's response to GC who don't have diabetes was that they were amazed that a phone could show something like this and I think it made my husband feel included, that if he wished to, he could check my glucose levels by logging into Carelink (the cloud where my diabetes data is stored). As thats another cool feature, that you can add 'Care partners' that can share your data, helping those you care about stay connected with your diabetes too.


Diabetes On The Go!


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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