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May 16, 2002

Community Resources

Question from Australia:

My 11 year old daughter has been on an insulin pump for 14 months and is doing extremely well. To make life just that little bit easier, especially when we have to change her basal regimen, I would love to have access to a GlucoWatch or the CGMS, but as far as I know neither of these devices are available in Australia. Are you able to give me contact details for Cygnus and/or for MiniMed (either an email address or a phone number) (1-800 numbers don't work from Australia) so that I could talk to them about importing or arranging to buy one or the other while we are in the US or Canada in about six months?

Answer:

A good starting point for information about the GlucoWatch and the The Continuous Glucose Monitoring System might be to contact Cygnus, Inc. at 400 Penobscot Drive, Redwood City, California 94063-4719 Telephone: (650) 369-4300 Fax: (650) 599-2503. For information on the GlucoWatch Biographer: 866-GL WATCH and/or Medtronic MiniMed at Medtronic MiniMed, 18000 Devonshire Street, Northridge, CA 91325-1219; Telephone: Product Information (toll free): 1-800-MINIMED, International Headquarters: 1-818-362-5958 or through e-mail.

However since control seems to be going rather well at the moment, I would suggest some caution before investing in the GlucoWatch. It is first of all expensive, retailing at $595 with the 12 hour sensors being about $4.36 each, and whilst it is a decided technical achievement, the model which is being presently retailed has had some calibration difficulties and also shows quite wide deviation from finger prick samples in children over the 12 hour period that each sensor can be used. In about six months, I believe that an improved GlucoWatch II will be available. In the meantime, you might want to consider one of the relatively new essentially painless meters such as the FreeStyle or One Touch� Ultra in order to monitor blood sugars.

DOB