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The first insulin pump without a catheter in Croatia!
November 20, 2020 / Technology

The first insulin pump without a catheter in Croatia!

20 min read

 A test sample has arrived in Croatia, and it is a complete Medtrum A7 + system (sensor + pump) registered in the EU, which will be represented by the company Bauerfeind.  Since we know that BF has already brought the Medtrum S7, which you can find out all about on the new portal www.mojMedtrum.com, it is clear that this is not an unreliable fact, but something verI y certain.

Medtrum A7 + is the successor to the A6 system previously available in Germany and the UK, and consists of:

 1) a small control PDA with a touch screen

 (less than half the average cell phone),

 2) real time sensor and rechargeable transmitter,

 3) a patch of an insulin pump (without a catheter) that sticks to the skin.



 What is Medtrum A7 + and how does it work?

 For connoisseurs, the simplest way to describe the A7 + system is to compare it to:

 1) Medtronic 640G without catheter (even A7 + transmitter is rechargeable as Enlite)


 2) OmniPod with its own connected CGM sensor.

For the others:

 It is a system that continuously measures the glucose level every two minutes with a sensor (2) and transmits it to a small PDA computer (1).  When the PDA assumes you are slipping into hypoglycemia, it will order the catheter-free insulin pump (3) to stop delivering insulin!  Of course, if you have really taken too much insulin, only dextrose, glucagon or an ambulance will save you.  However, in a lot of cases, this system will really successfully prevent hypoglycemia or alleviate it quite a bit!  To make matters better, when the algorithm notices that your sugar has stabilized, it will automatically resume insulin delivery and so on indefinitely.


 What’s wrong with Medtrum A7 +?

 You don’t have to be a Sherlock Holmes and a big connoisseur of insulin pumps to see that the Medtrum pump is a bit more “cube” designed than the more famous OmniPod:


Medtrum has a bit of a box design, while the OmniPod is a bit more reminiscent of a pebble from the beach, but there is a solid reason for that – more on that later.

Medtrum A7 + is a counterpart to Medtronic 640G, which means that it “irons” hypoglycemia by interrupting insulin delivery, but it does not yet know how to “iron” hyperglycemia, i.e. to add insulin when CGM measures high sugar.  What is really very good is that the functionality of automatic hyperglycemia breakdown will be possible to achieve by software upgrade of this pump!



What’s great with the Medtrum A7 +?

 Extremely stable wireless communication

 As an experienced user of a homemade closed loop, this fact excites me.  The PDA (or monitor) didn’t even gum up in two weeks!  He never once showed any problems in communication with the sensor or the insulin pump!  The communication was perfect, he received data from CGMS fantastically and ordered the insulin pump – all wirelessly and flawlessly.  Of course, this does not apply to a situation where I have moved too far away from the PDA (out of range of Bluetooth).


Fantastic design of a small PDA

 Again, this is a small device with a color touch screen.  It feels like holding a mini cell phone in your hand.  It is very small in size, so it is easy to lose.  They are aware of this in Medtrum, so they added the option of searching for a PDA to the mobile application in a way that the siren sounds wirelessly and it can be found in a car, apartment or similar space in an instant.

 Insulin pump – as if it does not exist

 As with the OmniPod, once you stick a Medtrum A7 + insulin pump on your arm or abdomen, it is quite certain that you will completely forget about it.

Price, ecology and ingenious Chinese

 The price is not yet known and will depend on negotiations between representatives in Croatia and producers from China.

 If you’ve ever seen or read about the American OmniPod, you will know that the “pebble”, i.e. the Pod, consists of an insulin tank, a battery and a transmitter – all in one.  When you spend the Pod, you throw it all in the trash which must have an impact on price and ecology.  The Chinese wisely came up with the idea to make their “pod” from two detachable parts: a transmitter on one side and a battery and a tank on the other side.  The result is a potentially lower price, given that “only” the battery and tank are discarded, and the transmitter can be used for many years.  That is the reason why Medtrum’s pump is “cubeier” than the OmniPod, because it is almost impossible to make a pod that is “beautiful and round” without a robust connection and separation mechanism.

The left green part is a transmitter that you do NOT throw in the trash, it reduces the cost of the whole system!

 The ingenious Chinese still remembered and directly connected the pump and the CGM.  This means that your child will be protected from hypoglycaemia even when the PDA’s battery runs out or you forget it at home.  The CGM sensor will directly notify the pump that there is a risk of dangerous hypoglycemia and interrupt insulin delivery.  To make matters better, during the threat of dangerous hypoglycemia and interrupted insulin delivery, a pump glued to the body will emit a red light via a small LED. Very nice detail.

Easy Touch mobile application

 The smart controller (PDA) communicates with the sensor and pump via Bluetooth, and in the same way it communicates with the smartphone, but only in one direction PDA -> mobile phone.  You install the Easy Touch application on your child’s mobile phone and it sends data to the Internet, and you can monitor your child in the EasyFollow application on your mobile phone:

One big child to follow


 Although I’m not the best example because I have solid experience with pumps, I think everyone will be encouraged by the information that we configured and installed the test Medtrum A7 + system (sensor, pump and PDA) within 10 minutes in a Zagreb bar.  As for the CGM, I wore the Dexcom G5 (xDrip) and Medtrum S7 in parallel, and the precision results in my case are identical to those of the previous test – comparable and precise.

Those who have tried the S7 will be delighted by the information that the A7 + transmitter is much thinner, even rechargeable:


I didn’t go into great detail, but I think this is enough to get a sense of what kind of system it is.  It is obvious that the situation with pumps is getting worse even in Lijepa Naša (the first two words from our National Anthem meaning Our Beautiful referring on homeland).  I recently tested Ypsomed, which is already slowly being delivered to Croatian users from the last national Rebro tender, and now here is Medtrum.  Medtronic has been present on the Croatian market for some time with an excellent 640G pump.  So, there are more and more companies that, along with patients and doctors, could and should lobby for insulin pumps to finally get on national insurance list of aids, any help is welcome.  We keep our fingers crossed! 

 And good luck to us.

Davor Skeledzija Read more posts by this author
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