Diabetes 'Power Couple' Announces a Marriage of Technologies

Medtronic and Lifescan unite in latest monitoring gadget

Daniel Trecroci By Daniel Trecroci

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt!
Hillary and Bill Clinton!
Steffi Graff and Andre Agassi!

What do they all have in common? They are all "power couples"—people at the top of their respective games who happen to marry each other. In the diabetes arena, Medtronic is the insulin-pump and real-time-continuous-glucose-monitoring industry leader. LifeScan is the blood-glucose-monitoring industry leader.

Now, they are a power couple!

This comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the OneTouch UltraLink as the new wireless meter exclusively certified by Medtronic to wirelessly communicate with Medtronic diabetes management products in the United States.

Radio Frequency Wirelessly Transmits BG Readings

The announcement was made on April 28, 2008. According to Medtronic spokesperson Steve Sabicer, the UltraLink meter uses a "proprietary radio frequency that wirelessly transmits blood glucose readings directly to the [MiniMed Paradigm insulin pumps or the Guardian REAL-Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring System]." In turn, this makes bolus dosing more accurate and easier for patients compared to the manual entry of blood glucose readings.

"Medtronic and LifeScan both have highly trusted brands and proven track records in offering high-quality products," says Sabicer in a dLife interview. "The OneTouch Ultra is the number-one prescribed meter brand and is highly trusted by patients and healthcare providers.

Data transmitted from the OneTouch UltraLink can be viewed via Medtronic's CareLink Therapy Management Software, which integrates meter, logbook, insulin pump and real-time continuous glucose monitoring information. Sabicer says that neither the Paradigm REAL-Time System nor Guardian REAL-Time System have undergone any changes.

About the OneTouch UltraLink

Ty Lee, a LifeScan spokesperson, tells dLife that, for many reasons, the OneTouch UltraLink is the optimal meter for this platform. In addition to wirelessly sending test results to the MiniMed Paradigm Insulin Pump and Guardian REAL-Time Systems, the OneTouch UltraLink:

  • Has a five-second test time
  • Eliminates data-entry mistakes for more accurate bolus dosing
  • Offers a high degree of accuracy across the full range of glucose values
  • Has before-and-after meal averages, which makes it easy to manage diabetes around meals
  • Is designed for use with OneTouch Ultra Test Strips, which are the number-one selling test strip in the United States and have preferred status at the lowest co-pay on more health plans than any other test strip

Who is the Ideal Patient for this Technology and Why?

Sabicer says that any patient currently using a Medtronic insulin pump or Guardian REAL-Time System would benefit from this new offering.

"All insulin-taking patients are indicated for an insulin pump, and those who want to more aggressively manage their diabetes should consider the benefits of insulin-pump therapy," says Sabicer, adding that the UltraLink meter comes with any new purchase of a Medtronic Insulin Pump or CGM system at no charge. He stresses, however, that you speak with your physician before making any decisions to change your therapy.

Medtronic says it is actively working to provide the OneTouch UltraLink Meter to all of its customers as soon as possible, and is taking a staged-product launch approach.

Read Daniel Trecroci's bio.

Read more of Daniel Trecroci's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.


Last Modified Date: June 26, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...
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