Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by leslie91879, Apr 6, 2006.
Has any one else tried the glucowatch and how to you like it if you have?
I will also be interested to read any replies to this post
Is Animas selling the Glucowatch? Is it even still on the market now that the Guardian RT and Dexcom have been approved in the US?
My friends described the burns/skin irritations and frequent false alarms. I don't know anyone who stuck with it and continues to use it...but there may be people out there.
Our endo said that the company that manufactures the glucowatch went bankrupt and you can't get them anymore. But their website says that you can still order them -- www.glucowatch.com
We used it for 2 weeks a few years ago and it was not a good product for us. It caused very bad skin irritation and kept giving false alarms every 15 minutes. The readings were very innacurate because Carson's blood sugars went up and down faster than the watch was designed to keep up with.
At a Support Group meeting 2 months ago I was told Animas bought the Glucowatch and then recently I recieved an e-mail from a Animas Rep with this information reguarding the Glucowatch vs. the Guardian.
"Although they are both similar in accuracy, there are several
differences between the two:
1. The cost- $300 for the Glucowatch in addition to $240/ month in
sensors and almost $3000 for the Guardian in addition to $400/ month for
sensors if both are worn every day. Neither are covered by insurance.
2. Glucowatch is FDA approved for children while the Guardian is only
FDA approved for adults over the age of 18.
3. Site preservation: The Glucowatch is non-invasive. It does not
break the skin. With the Guardian, you have to wear an additional
Hope this helps a little...give Animas a call...I don't use this device.
I got the glucowatch about a month ago thru animas. I havent had that many false alarms and it has been within 5 units on most of my blood sugars since I randomly checked to verify I only wear it at night but the skin irritation is about to kill my right arm since it is worse on that arm than the other Im only worried about the skin irritations and what might help to get rid of them faster
I did not know that the glucowatch was being re-released. Interesting. There is a similar product currently trying for FDA approval called Glucoband. www.glucoband.com It says that it doesn't have any disposable parts like sensors that you have to keep buying. It's not out yet and I have a hard time believing it will do all that is says it will, but it would be nice if it did.
Oops Sorry. It is www.calistomedical.com.
When I last talked to the people at Animas (where I got mine) they told me that they are working on a Glucowatch that is smaller and in different colors as well as a line of watches that talk to the pump without all the "wires" I want to say it was done through something like GPS I am on the list to try it out when they get to that point
Do you think the glucowatch is helpful? Why do you only wear it at night? What is the cost? Do you believe that the skin irritation out-weighs the benefit to a child? (I have a 13 year old)
for me yes it does out weigh the irritation I only wear mine at night since i was having lows for no reason and I wasnt waking up from them like i normally do and this way the alarm would wake my boyfriend up and we could treat it before it got too low. I have also worn it a few times when we go out of town for the day to things like car shows and car club meetings since most of the time we are on the road and there is no telling when we might be able to stop for food it is very helpful for me my daughter (age 7) loves the watch when I wear it we are currently teaching her how to check mommy's blood sugar and how to work my pump never to early to start teaching her I think and she knows what to look for when the watch starts beeping at night as well the irritation is like a sunburn that itches and if you can handle that then the watch will out weigh the irritation just keep lotion on it till it heals (on me that is about 2-3 days)
Animas Rep sets up a 'straw man', throws on gasoline, matches...
Well, consider this:
1. The Dexcom costs $500 for the starter kit. That ain't near $3000, it ain't even 1/5 of $3000. The Minimed 722RT combined Pump/CGMS *is* Covered by insurance in many cases, and may be covered by Minimed's upgrade program too (if upgrading from an older Minimed model). I don't know of anybody using the stand-alone RT, they've all got the pump version. (With insurance coverage.) That Animas salesman is comparing against a weak "straw man", the competitors WHICH PEOPLE ARE BUYING are either (1) not that costly; or (2) qualify for insurance as pumps first, with CGMS as a bonus feature.
2. People using the Minimed 722 Pump/CGMS system say that they get 6-9 days from their "3-day" sensors. I got TWELVE DAYS from my last "3-day" Dexcom sensor. He's quoting "$400/month" per the FDA-approved sensor life, but ALL the pts. I've heard of and spoken with, live or Internet, are doing "off-label" for far longer. Even my Endo runs his for extra time!
3. Almost everyone who's used the Glucowatch knows that the burns can be HORRIBLE. (I've worn the GW. Once was all I could stand!) In contrast, my Dexcom flex metal sensor is as comfortable as the BEST of current Teflon-Cannula spring-loaded infusion sets. (It's metal, but soft and bendable.) And obviously, since I'm only changing it once per 12 days, and it doesn't even have any tubing, I'm in heaven. (The Minimed does have tubing, the sensor/canula is separate from the transmitter). WOW he's got a lot of nerve, trying to associate the Glucowatch and it's skin-burning electrodes with "site preservation" !!!
4. Most uses feel that Glucowatch accuracy is very bad... many people would go so far as to say, "almost useless". I certainly would.
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It looks to me as if that Salesman is promoting a piece of OLD-TECHNOLOGY GARBAGE so that he may enjoy some commission bucks (he's not working for a firm which makes the good stuff, this is all he's got). Don't be a sucker for it. Buy Dexcom, or buy Minimed (per their customers, buy the pump version, not the RT standalone), or wait for Abbott... but DON'T BUY GLUCOWATCH.
Just my EXPERIENCED lay opinion, of course. But unlike that Salesman, I've used both Dexcom and Glucowatch. I also have have no financial interest in your choice between Dexcom, Minimed, Abbott, or Animas: I'm only a Dexcom customer, a really amazed and delighted one.
We still use the glucowatch Ellen and we don't have those problems.
I would disagree with the GW accuracy being bad. It falls within the same accuracy as the CGMS and other meters on the Clark Error Grid, the standard which they are all held to. They all have around 95-98% accuracy.
I've used it on myself as well as on my daughter, a number of times, and have had very good correlation each time. The thing people tend to forget is that it is a TRENDING device. Due to the way the watch works and the technology it uses, it doesn't give your bg in real time. The numbers are AVERAGES of numbers taken over a period of minutes, not your actual bg numbers (however, we have seen a number of times where the watch gave the same reading as our Freestyle). When you download it, you can see the graph of these averages which has been very helpful (for us) in finding where the problem areas are. When you want to adjust basals and find problem areas (like postprandial highs) you don't need to know actual numbers, you just need to see when the bg is falling and rising and in response to what. The Navigator etc will be better for getting actual numbers and to be used in place of bg checks. The GW was not meant to be this type of monitor.
A lot of the problems users have reported are due to the watch being placed too tight on the skin etc and not using the device properly. It works well for some people and not very well for others. The few problems we've had were due to our not doing something right. We get over 55 readings each time we use it which is more than we could get from our meter in the same time frame (not impossible, just not practical.)
We don't use it all the time, just when we need help in locating a problem and it has done exactly what it is supposed to do. You can find them used...I have 2...bought one new and one used. We have good results with both.
And btw...Cygnus corp sold the technology to Animas. So the company went out of business but the GW itself is alive and well. I'm betting Animas will take it one step further and improve upon it. It will be interesting.
I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone has about the GW!
It's NOT as good as the Minimed, even the OLD Version,
And a single Clark Error Grid A+B percentage figure DOES NOT serve as an adequate "analysis" of a bG diagnostic instrument for the critical case of low bG.
I'll discuss the GW accuracy problem first-- it's failure to issue an alarm on lots of the Hypos. (BTW, I argue forcefully, but you DO have my respect.)
In May 2004, at the FDA/NIH Joint Symposium on Diabetes "Targeting Safe and Effective Prevention and Treatment", William Tamborlane M.D. (Yale Medical School) gave a session which analyzed whether the GW and/or the then-available versions of the Minimed Product were accurate enough to manage high and low bG in Type-1 Youngsters.
He concluded that even the Minimed missed too many Hypos. And the Glucowatch Biographer-II ("GW2") had over DOUBLE the rate of failure to detect genuine Hypos, plus a significant number of false alarms. Here is the URL of the PDF, I will be discussing particular pages:
Read the ISO criteria on page 12, then look at the graph on page 15: With the GW2, the accuracy takes a horrible dive from about 55% meeting ISO standards at ~95 bG, falling to barely 30% meeting ISO standards at < 70 bG. The newer version of the Minimed does much better.
Page 16 is critical. The GW2 detected only 12 of 48 Hypo events (actual bG < 60). That's a mere 25% success rate on Hypos. The OLD Minimed got 26 out of 51, a 51% success rate... TWICE AS GOOD. The Old version of the Minimed did have a higher percentage of night time false positives, 69% versus just 44% false positives for the GWB2.
The newer Minimed didn't have enough data points for a good confidence interval, but those Hypos which DID occur had outstanding results: ZERO false positives at night, and 67% success on detection (2 out of 3).
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So: Their study followed 90 pts, undergoing 26-hour INPATIENT CRC admissions in 5 locations. They caught quite a few hypos. They found the GW2 to be much, much worse at detecting Hypos than even the old version of the Minimed. Also note that the NIH accepted this paper for live presentation at the symposium. (They reviewed the science, methods, and results.) You've got: Your own personal experience with just the GW2.
It's better than nothing, maybe, but it isn't as good as the Minimed RT(s) or the Dexcom. Their study included only children 17 and under. The GW2 could have better accuracy with older pts like us, but if so, I would expect the Minimed and Dexcom to also be more accurate.
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Now for the Clark error grid problem:
The big problem with the Clark Error Grid is, most "studies" involve lots and lots of tests at the bG levels where meters have high accuracy (100-300), and only a few points where meter accuracy sucks (50 and below). With zones 'A' and 'B' being so large, and so many of the points being in the "sweet" range of meter accuracy, it's very easy to hit a high percentage of A+B Landings. The size and boundaries of the zones also doesn't reflect current treatment plans, we make adjustments "based on much smaller variations in glucose than in [the] past". (quote page 21).
"It falls within the same accuracy as the CGMS and other meters...."
If you think that the GW2 (or the Minimeds, or my Dexcom) has about the accuracy of a REAL bG meter, look at page 15 again: At bGs below 70, where your GW2 is meeting the ISO standard less than 35% of the time, the One-Touch Ultra meets the standard more than 90% of the time. (The Ultra is my 'regular' meter, BTW.) I think that you need to change your mind about this.
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His conclusions are:
These sensors are ALL sufficiently accurate in the Hyperglycemia range of bGs.
NONE of the 3 tested were good enough for Hypoglycemia (even though the Minimed machines performed a lot better than the GW2)
We agree about following the Trend, rather than just the reading. (It's easy on the Dexcom, where you see the graph without doing "downloads".) But when you're asleep, you NEED to have Hypos detected automatically. And the GW2 miserably failed to do this, missing 75% of the kids' hypos.
You have a right to your opinion. Thanks for sharing the info. I will have to check it out tomorrow when I have more time to read it.
I was only comparing continuous glucose type monitors to one another, not including the regular bg meters (while they have a similar function, they are different IMO because they are not continuous). All of the continuous monitors fall within the same range of accuracy. You said it wasn't accurate. That's all I was addressing.
I don't feel the GW is superior to the other monitors (I'm personally holding out for the Navigator btw) and it could definitely be improved upon (for instance, it is way too sensitive to bumping and perspiring). I do think it has a place though. We have gleaned some very helpful information from it and it actually helped bring my daughter's A1c down because we were able to tweak basals and ratios with the info we got from it.
We sometimes get lots of alarms too. Once you get so many readings in a row that are heading in a particular direction it will signal a trend and it will keep signalling it until it resolves. They aren't really false alarms per se (you may not be low yet when they first go off, it just means you could go low in the next 20? or however many mins). You can minimize the alarming by changing the settings (we set our low bg parameter to around 90). The alarms can be annoying but they've been right on for us when it says the bgs are trending down or up. They've even woken us up in the middle of the night (and the GW correctly identified an impending hypo which was able to be treated before it caused a problem.)
Yes, just one person's experience but that doesn't mean it should be completely discounted. We mainly use it for trending/problem solving, and it works very well for us in that capacity. But it has also done a good job with hypo detection during the night even though that isn't the meter's main purpose. I'm glad we didn't give up after just one try...we goofed (it was definitely user error) the first time we used it. There is a learning curve just like with anything else and it is still a very misunderstood (and sometimes misused) device.
It's great that we have so many options available now. It's too bad they are so expensive but maybe insurance will eventually cover at least part of the cost. I can't wait til the Navigator hits the market...
My latest Dexcom Sensor: 17 days
Typical Severe (bG < 50) lows per month: 8-12
Severe Lows so far in June, 2006: ZERO
This time, instead of pulling the plug at 11-1/2 days, I decided to run it "into the ground". About 16 hours into day 17, the graph started missing data points. After a couple more hours, it flat-lined.
So, my cost on this Sensor was barely $2 per day
If this is the average life, then my total costs for a Dexcom, per year, will be about $752 (Sensors) + $550 (replacement "Receiver") + $500 (two replacement "Transmitters"), $1800. Slightly less than $5 per day.
At the same time, it looks like it will save me considerably more money in un-bought Strips and Glucagons: I have testing about 12x per day, but with Dexcom, I have already cut that to 5. (The results have been DEAD-ON-TARGET for me.)
Unlike most people, I actually have to pay cash for Strips... so 7 Strips avoided, @ $.80 each, is already a savings of about $5.60. I have also been using 5-8 Glucagons per year, at costs of about $65 each (from Canada, of course). So there's another $300-$500 savings.
Dexcom costs LESS than my old regime. That's just the cash, leaving out the unnecessary stabbed fingers, and the really nasty Glucagon injection pain, and all the bad Lows, and (probably) getting much better HGbA1c results at the same time.
This machine is simply awesome.
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