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Insulin Pumps vs Multiple Daily Injections: Comparing Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G and Medtronic InPen™ smart insulin pen

Disclaimer: This blog is in paid collaboration with Medtronic Diabetes. This blog is meant to provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this blog is not a substitute for medical care and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.

infographic: insulin pumps vs multiple daily injections: medtronic minimed 780G and Medtronic inpen smart insulin pen

People with diabetes are often presented with a crucial choice between two prominent treatment methods: insulin pumps and multiple daily injections. As diabetes technology continues to evolve, so do the options available for people with diabetes. 


In this blog post, we are going to compare the Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G Insulin Pump System and the Medtronic InPen™ smart insulin pen to offer insights into the features, benefits and potential challenges of these two prominent approaches to diabetes management.


Understanding insulin pump therapy with the Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G system


What is an automated insulin delivery system?

Automated insulin delivery systems integrate an insulin pump with a continuous glucose monitoring system and programmed algorithm to automatically adjust insulin delivery based on real-time glucose readings.


infographic with features of medtronic minimed 780g

Features and Functions of the Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G system

Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G system is an advanced automated insulin delivery system that features:


  • SmartGuard™ Technology: The system will automatically adjust basal insulin delivery every 5 minutes based on recent glucose trends throughout the day and night to proactively prevent both high and low blood sugars.


  • Meal Detection™ technology*: This system is designed to deliver correction boluses of insulin as often as every 5 minutes§ if glucose levels are >120 mg/dL without any user input. If the system detects a rapid rise in glucose levels from underestimated carb counts or an occasional missed bolus, the auto-correction boluses may be stronger. 


  • Extended™ infusion set: The MiniMed™ 780G system is compatible with the Extended infusion set that can be worn for up to 7 days. The extended wear time reduces the frequency of set changes and provides more time for preferred areas to heal.


  • Precise insulin dosing: Users who are on this system can benefit from insulin doses as precise as 0.025 units.


infographic with benefits of medtronic minimed 780G

Benefits of the Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G system

The MiniMed™ 780G system offers a comprehensive set of benefits that can contribute to a more effective and user-friendly solution for individuals with diabetes. The benefits of the Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G system include:


  • Greater time in range overnight: A study in 2022 evaluated the outcomes of adults with T1D transitioning to an advanced automated delivery system for the first time by using the Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G. Participants who used the MiniMed™ 780G experienced a greater amount of time in range (+26.2%) and a significant reduction (-7%) in time spent below target range during the nighttime period compared to the control group who continued treatment with multiple daily injections and self-monitoring of blood glucose levels 1. These results may lead to more uninterrupted sleep and user safety throughout the overnight period. 


  • Increased time in range without increased hypoglycemia: Studies conducted with the MiniMed™ 780G system showed that automation in insulin delivery options, occurring as frequently as every 5 minutes, increased the overall time in range without a notable increase in hypoglycemic episodes 2. This reveals that the MiniMed™ 780G system can effectively maintain glucose values within a target range.


  • Less user input required: This is important for alleviating the burden on individuals with diabetes by minimizing the amount of manual input by users. 


  • Peace of Mind related to missed doses: Meal Detection technology in the MiniMed™ 780G system can provide users with a peace of mind when estimating carb counts or in the event of an occasionally missed dose by automatically delivering insulin without any user input. 


Limitations of the MiniMed™ 780G system

While there are many notable benefits of the MiniMed™ 780G system, there are some limitations that users should be aware of. Some potential drawbacks include:


  • Kinked sites and tubing: As with any tubed insulin pump, MiniMed 780G users may experience kinked sites and tubing which can obstruct the delivery of insulin and glucose levels.


  • Learning Curve: Users may face a learning curve when transitioning to the MiniMed 780G system. Understanding and effectively trusting the device’s features, including automation settings, may require time and training.


  • Device size and wearability: Some individuals may find that size of the insulin pump or tubing to be less discreet, impacting comfort and wearability. The device’s design should be considered for individuals who prioritize discretion in their diabetes management.


Exploring multiple daily injections with the Medtronic InPen™ smart insulin pen


What are Smart Insulin Pens?

Smart insulin pens are used for manual insulin administration but incorporate Bluetooth®-enabled technology and dose tracking features. Smart insulin pens, like InPen™, can record rapid-acting insulin doses, provide dose reminders, and assist with dose calculations. 


infographic with features of medtronic inpen smart insulin pen

Features and Functions of Medtronic InPen™ smart insulin pen

The InPen™ smart insulin pen enhances the insulin administration experience for multiple daily injection users by offering features that aren’t typically found with regular injections. These include:


  • Dose calculator: A dose calculator is available to help users decide how much rapid-acting insulin to give based on current glucose level, carbohydrate intake and active insulin.


  • Bluetooth®-enabled logbook: Users have access to a digital logbook that automatically keeps track of insulin doses, glucose values and carbohydrate intake.


  • Customizable reminders: Periodic reminders can be sent to remind users that it is time for a mealtime insulin dose or basal insulin to help avoid missed insulin doses.


  • ½ unit insulin dosing increments: Most manual insulin pens have whole unit increments for insulin delivery, but InPen™ features ½ unit dosing increments for more precise insulin dosages.


infographic with benefits of medtronic inpen smart insulin pen

Benefits of Multiple Daily Injections with InPen™ smart insulin pen

Multiple daily injections with smart insulin pens offer several benefits for diabetes management including:

  • Less missed doses: Missing 2 doses per week can lead to an increase in A1C of up to 0.4%3. With programmable insulin reminders, InPen™ users can miss less insulin doses to improve consistency with insulin therapy schedule.


  • Precise dosing: With smaller increments available, users can deliver more precise insulin doses. 


  • Dose tracking: By automatically tracking each insulin dose, users have access to view the amount of active insulin. This can decrease the likelihood of hypoglycemic episodes by reducing insulin stacking4.


  • Mealtime assistance: The use of a bolus calculator can help people with diabetes with calculating their mealtime insulin doses, especially since 2 out of 3 people require assistance4.


  • Simplified insulin therapy settings: Insulin therapy settings can be customized to include carb counting, meal estimation or fixed doses. The options provide people with diabetes increased flexibility with their diabetes treatment plans.


  • No additional device attachment: Smart pen users may wear a CGM, but do not require any additional devices to be attached to them, unlike insulin pump users.


Limitations of Multiple Daily Injections with InPen™ smart insulin pen

Multiple daily injections with smart insulin pens can be an effective option for many people with diabetes, but have some limitations including:


  • Patient burden: The requirement for multiple injections throughout the day may be inconvenient and individuals may feel self-conscious about injecting in public places. 


  • Potential for missed doses: The manual requirement of injections increases the potential risk for missed insulin doses which can disrupt glucose management.


  • Lack of automation features: Compared to the MiniMed™ 780G system, InPen™ lacks the automated insulin delivery features. It does not adjust basal rates based on real-time glucose trends and cannot administer correction doses without a manual injection. 


Comparing Medtronic MiniMed 780G Insulin Pump and Medtronic InPen™ smart insulin pen


chart that compares the features of medtronic minimed 780g and medtronic inpen smart insulin pen

Insulin Delivery Method

Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G: Fast-acting insulin is delivered continuously through a discreet subcutaneous infusion set that is connected to the insulin pump.


Medtronic InPen™ smart insulin pen: Fast-acting insulin requires users to manually dial a specific dosage on the dose knob and then inject themselves with an insulin needle to deliver the dose.


Automation Features & Functionality

Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G: With SmartGuard™ Technology, basal automation will be adjusted every 5 minutes based on recent glucose trends and automated correction boluses can be delivered as often as every 5 minutes if glucose is >120 mg/dL. 


Medtronic InPen™ smart insulin pen: Automatically logs doses and tracks active insulin, but users are required to manually deliver insulin.


Integrated CGM

Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G: Medtronic Guardian 4 and Medtronic Guardian 3.


Medtronic InPen™ smart insulin pen: Guardian™ Connect (real-time), Dexcom G6 and Dexcom G7 (3-hour delay).


Therapy Settings Customization

Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G: Users have the ability to personalize their therapy settings including target glucose, insulin-to-carb-ratios, and active insulin time. 


Medtronic InPen™ smart insulin pen: There are therapy settings available for insulin therapy including carb counting, meal estimation and fixed doses. Healthcare professionals can customize user settings to include: maximum calculated dose, duration of insulin action, time of day settings, target blood glucose, insulin sensitivity factor, insulin-to-carb ratio and display active insulin.


Dosing Calculator

Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G: The dosing calculator will determine the required dose based on the user's programmed settings users will input estimated carbohydrate intake and current glucose value. 


Medtronic InPen™ smart insulin pen: The dosing calculator will determine the required dose based on the user's programmed settings.


Approved age

Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G: Approved for age 7 years and older.


Medtronic InPen™ smart insulin pen: Approved for age 7 years and older for the self-injection of a desired dose of insulin unless under the supervision of an adult caregiver.


Cost

MiniMed™ 780G system: The MiniMed™ 780G is covered by most insurance plans, however, individual out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on your individual health insurance plan. Medtronic offers financial assistance, monthly payment programs and complimentary review of insurance coverage. 


InPen™ smart insulin pen: The InPen smart insulin pen out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on an individual's specific health insurance plan coverage. Eligible individuals with commercial insurance may be eligible to pay as little as $35 per prescribed InPen. 


Which option is right for you?

Choosing between the MiniMed™ 780G system and InPen smart insulin pen depends on individual preferences, lifestyle, comfort with technology, and the level of automation or user-control desired in insulin dosing. Discussing options with a healthcare provider can help determine which would be the best fit for your individual needs in managing diabetes. 


Click here for more information about the MiniMed™ 780G system: https://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/products/minimed-780g-insulin-pump-system


Click here for more information about InPen smart insulin pen: https://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/products/inpen-smart-insulin-pen-system


* Taking a bolus 15 – 20 minutes before a meal helps to keep blood sugar levels under control after eating.† Refers to auto correct, which provides bolus assistance. Can deliver all auto correction doses automatically without user interaction, feature can be turned on and off.§ Refers to SmartGuard™ feature. Individual results may vary.


Resources:

  1. Matejko B, Juza A, Kieć-Wilk B, Cyranka K, Krzyżowska S, Chen X, Cohen O, Da Silva J, Malecki MT, Klupa T. Transitioning of People With Type 1 Diabetes From Multiple Daily Injections and Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose Directly to MiniMed 780G Advanced Hybrid Closed-Loop System: A Two-Center, Randomized, Controlled Study. Diabetes Care. 2022 Nov 1;45(11):2628-2635. doi: 10.2337/dc22-0470. PMID: 35972259; PMCID: PMC9862281.


  1. Carlson AL, Sherr JL, Shulman DI, Garg SK, Pop-Busui R, Bode BW, Lilenquist DR, Brazg RL, Kaiserman KB, Kipnes MS, Thrasher JR, Reed JHC, Slover RH, Philis-Tsimikas A, Christiansen M, Grosman B, Roy A, Vella M, Jonkers RAM, Chen X, Shin J, Cordero TL, Lee SW, Rhinehart AS, Vigersky RA. Safety and Glycemic Outcomes During the MiniMed™ Advanced Hybrid Closed-Loop System Pivotal Trial in Adolescents and Adults with Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2022 Mar;24(3):178-189. doi: 10.1089/dia.2021.0319. Epub 2021 Nov 16. PMID: 34694909; PMCID: PMC8971997.


  1. Randlov, J., Poulsen, J.U. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2008 Mar; 2(2): 229-235. Published online 2008 Mar. doi: [10.1177/1932296 80800200209]


  1. Zaugg, Stephanie D., et al. “Diabetes numeracy and blood glucose control: association with type of diabetes and source of care.” Clinical diabetes: a publication of the American Diabetes Association 32.4 (2014): 152-157


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