Interview with Katie Szyman, President Medtronic Diabetes – submit your questions

Home Forums Interview with Katie Szyman, President Medtronic Diabetes – submit your questions

This topic contains 49 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  lizz 6 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #6112

    Tim
    Keymaster

    Your soaraway Shoot Up has secured an interview with Katie Szyman – President of Medtronic Diabetes. So, use the thread below to put your questions to her.

    As always, specific questions about your own healthcare or personal bugbear do not a good interview make.

  • #9337

    Alison
    Keymaster

    If you had diabetes, why would you choose a Medtronic pump?

    What feature on your competitiors products do you wish you’d thought of first?

    In terms of companies I buy things from, you are by far the supplier I spend most money with, yet I hear very little from you in terms of your future plans, upcoming products etc. Do you think you could communicate more effectively directly with your customers or is your focus on communicating to healthcare professionals because they tend to have more influence over which pump a patient uses?

    How mature is the CGM market at the moment (ie if your target audience is say 30% of all Type 1’s, where are you against that) and is there a tipping point at which CGM would become more of a mass market product and prices could start to fall?

    What do you see as the biggest barrier to pump and CGM take up?

    As we are such an influential force in the diabetes community, is there anything you’d like to see soaraway ShootUp doing to increase usage of pumps and CGM?

    And of course, the three obvious questions…what new tech is coming up in the next few years? What’s your vision of diabetes tech in 10 years time? And how do you sleep at night knowing that the the lives of so many puppies have been ended by your teams in Switzerland? ;)

    And finally, what I want to know but it really isn’t worth wasting my time asking because if I was Katie I wouldn’t answer this – what’s the profit margin on pumps and CGM, and have you actually recouped your R&D costs for CGM yet?

  • #9338

    lizz
    Participant

    I would like to ask:

    Why is there no alarm on your newest pump to remind you when to change the cannula? It’s not easy to remember 3 days!

    Why does the pump not have the facility to add a percentage to a correction of blood glucose that is above a certain figure? If my blood sugar is very high, I require more insulin to bring my blood sugar down. My pump adds 10% to a correction for a blood sugar which is over a figure which can be chosen by the user or a health professional – in my case when my blood sugar is over 16.

    Having a pump is all very well – but wearing it all day, every day is hard, particularly as the cases provided do not seem particularly well designed, and there is not enough choice. I would like to see many more types of case – all with windows so that the pump can be used without removing the case. Why is this aspect of wearing a pump relatively ignored by pump manufacturers?

    Why do the ‘Quick-sets’ sit in the device to shoot them into you in such a ‘Heath Robinson’ way? There doesn’t seem to be an actual way of keeping them sitting there, they often just fall onto your skin when you put the device on your skin. And why is it so hard to remove the tape from the sticky part?

    Why are there so few alarms available? There are only 4 meal alarms. I need an alarm before each meal – but I would also like another, back up alarm in case I have forgotten to bolus when the first alarm wen toff. Or, even better, a ‘snooze’ facility? Otherwise when you acknowledge the alarm, if you can’t bolus right them as dinner will be too far off, you can still forget.

    Why is it so difficult to check when your last bolus, or any type of action, was? It should be REALLY easy to do this. I find it really long-winded and irritating. I would like to be able to cycle through windows that give the status of all facilities at that moment in time. I would like windows for each of the following: A bolus window to tell me that I last bolused , for lunch, half an hour before, and what the dose was. How much insulin on board. When I should next change my site. Which basal pattern I am on. How much time left there is on my temporary basal pattern.

  • #9339

    Tim
    Keymaster

    Anyone have some more general questions they would like to ask too?

  • #9340

    Annette A
    Participant

    Does Medtronic have any form of discussions with the other pump manufacturers? (Particularly with regards to helping the consumer, ie the patients.) Or is it all very closed shop (beyond the obvious new technology that you want to get to market first so as to beat the competitors, nothing can be discussed, even once something is in the market.)
    And, similar to Alison – why does Medtronic (and the others) not try to market itself better to the user? (As in, we can have a say in what therapy we use, so we can infkluence our providers, but I certainly didnt have any information before being given (yes, given, not chose) my current pump.)

  • #9341

    Dave
    Participant

    Why are the reports offered in the patient section of Carelink so much more restricted than that the medical professionals can see? On arrival at the clinic the DSN just moves aside while I have a good delve into the reports before we both look at them together.

    Would it be possible to make the alarms more customisable such as being able to turn off the vibrate/beep when bolus delivery has completed? Also the ability to mute the alarms when in a meeting etc, unless it’s a major warning, would be useful. Also to switch between vibrate and beep depending on time of day i.e. sounds at night but vibrate during the day?

    Apart from that I love Adam (my Veo) very much.

  • #9343

    Tim
    Keymaster

    Medtronic’s ambition is to have a closed loop. What progress has been made so far?

  • #9344

    Dave
    Participant

    Considering the amount of plastic and packaging I have to chuck away after every set change is there anything Medtronic is looking into to reduce the waste?

  • #9345

    Dave
    Participant

    Considering funding and availability problems in various pasrts of the UK how are Medtronic working with patients and patient groups to improve access to pump and CGM treatment?

  • #9347

    Alison
    Keymaster

    Rumours circulate periodically that Medtronic are working on a combined infusion set and sensor that would mean just one insertion for both devices. Is there any truth in this?

  • #9348

    Anonymous

    When is medtronics going to update the carelink software to include Microsoft Windows 7?

  • #9349

    lizz
    Participant

    And mac? 20% of the population and rising use macs, that means 20% of your customers completely unable to access their information, records etc! So frustrating.

  • #9351

    Tim
    Keymaster

    Macs are expensive & rubbish!

    /trolling on own website

  • #9352

    Anonymous

    Why doesn’t the pump alarm when the reservoir is empty? I don’t want to set the low reservoir alarm so low that I don’t get it until the very last minute but, on the other hand, sometimes I lose track after the low reservoir alarms and don’t realize that the reservoir is empty until my BG is unexplainably rising precipitously. The status screen will show zeros for units remaining, so why doesn’t the pump alarm when it gets to that?

  • #9353

    Anonymous

    What one feature would you like to add to the pump with the wave of a wand, that currently just can’t be implemented?

  • #9354

    Anonymous

    Has Medtronic thought about teaming up with Apple to create the I-pump?

  • #9355

    Tim
    Keymaster

    @mustard – Medtronic could simply hire Jonathan Ive to design their next pump. I’m sure he could be enticed to leave Apple… ;-)

  • #9356

    lizz
    Participant

    Now look here. I do not frequent these hallowed threads to be insulted. But I do know you wouldn’t bother dissing my friend if you didn’t know it was vastly superior to a PC (or Pile of Crap). My friend used to say the same as you. Then she came and tried my computer. *Smiles smugly and extremely irritatingly at Tim*

  • #9358

    Dave
    Participant

    @tim Is that why the new site still refuses to display anything on the most popular smartphone on the planet?

    (posting from my PC as obviously I couldn’t whilst sat comfortably catching up with all other news on a smartly designed yet annoyingly restrictive iDevice)

  • #9361

    Tim
    Keymaster

    @seasiderdave – The problem is that I don’t look at the site on a mobile device, therefore there’s not much impetus to get it working properly. If you fancy a go at getting it working I’ll give you full admin access :-D

  • #9362

    Tim
    Keymaster

    @lizz – I do run a Mac Mini at work (which I’ve dual booted with Ubuntu Linux for some reason) and it’s actually a great bit of kit.

    So, yes, I do actually like Apple stuff, I’m just jealous that I can’t afford it ;-)

  • #9370

    Annette A
    Participant

    I run both at work. (A large mac and a pc. And I could run Linux if I chose, but I dont.) And I do some stuff on the mac that doesnt work so well on the pc, and vice versa. And I still choose a pc at home, and an android phone. So there you go, its all down to personal choice. (I dislike the restrictiveness of the i-devices on alot of the things I do alot of the time. Other things, they’re fine for.) Just my tuppenceha’penny’sworth.

  • #9372

    Tim
    Keymaster

    @seasiderdave – could you look at the site through a mobile device now? It should now display better, or at least it does on my Android phone

  • #9374

    Anonymous

    The last four (4) posts have nothing to do with questions directed at Katie Szyman. Please keep on topic. I want to read what Katie has to say about the legitimate questions posted, and not the drivial off topic posts.

    If you want to discuss the computer operating systems Microsoft, Apple, Linex start a new forum.

    Bob

  • #9375

    Tim
    Keymaster

    @bob2 – I do hope that someone has hacked your account to post that last comment and it’s not you posting seriously. If, on the off chance, that you were being serious then I don’t think you’ve quite grasped the community spirit of Shoot Up.

    If you have an issue with the way in which I encourage our users to enjoy chatting, go off topic and discuss other entirely-unrelated things then I would urge you, with the greatest possible respect, to perhaps consider using one of the many other diabetes web sites that are available.

    In the meantine, however, let’s go back to being friends.

  • #9376

    Dave
    Participant

    Question for Katie: What do you think of the fantastic work @tim has done to make SUoPU mobile device compatible?

    (Hopefully I’ll I get away with that?;-))

  • #9377

    Tim
    Keymaster

    @seasiderdave – I think that might have been subtle enough to sneek past Bob’s gimlet eye ;-)

  • #9378

    Anonymous

    Tim,
    I am sorry if I offended you or anyone else, it was not my intention. Please accept my apologies, and continue to one day overcome this affliction known as diabetes.

    I do apologize,
    Bob2

  • #9379

    Cecile
    Participant

    @bob2, your posts don’t fire any shots at Katie, either… tutx3 :D. Back to business: how many iPads would a Brit be able to buy with the money they’d have to fork out for a Medtronic if the NHS didn’t do it for them? (I assume said service gets discount ’cause they buy them in bulk). And where in the world would a Medtronic be “cheapest”, if seen in economic context? Last time I checked, here in South Africa your pump would cost me R5000 more than the rural smallholding my sister acquired in 2002… totally unaffordable in absence of health service or insurance. Why is it so expensive (as compared to my laptop, that contains a fair bit more electronic organs than does the pump)?

  • #9380

    Anonymous

    @Cecile. Thats it we could all buy an Ipad2 surely all these universal cables must have an insulin tube somewhere? Does Stripykat make Ipad covers? Yes I know the Ipad is a lot larger than the pump but think about it, everything would be at your finger tips!

    Whats wrong with going slightly off topic? Sometimes your perspective changes having looked at things differently or even had a laugh.

  • #9381

    Tim
    Keymaster

    @bob2 – thank you Bob, that’s much appreciated.

    In case you were wondering this thread will be compiled and edited before it’s submitted to Katie – with the best questions kept and / or edited for sense and the dross cut out. So if you have any further questions – and I bet you do – then please add them below :-)

  • #7577

    Anonymous

    Re alarms: Would expanding alarm options to allow options for louder volume and lower-pitched tones require you to go through entire FDA approval process (I live in the U.S.)?

  • #9421

    Anonymous

    At the risk of continuing the alarming trend of going back on topic [shock]…

    Any more news on the non-turn-off-able-reverse-engineerable-insecure-or-at-least-easily-compromisable-bluetooth debacle?

    Wishlist: Occasional % incremental changes to set bolus ratio calculations. For example I reduce bolus by 20% (in addition to setting TBR) when going to the gym.Currently this is keeping my mental maths skills perky, but er… ya know… anything for an easy life. While in the dying days of MDI the Roche ‘Expert’ allowed setting of health flags on bolus calcs. This in combination with TBR would be aces.

    Wishlist 2. Affordable CGM (since NICE/NHS don’t seem to be keen on the whole funding business)

  • #9422

    Dave
    Participant

    Can I just do a plus 1 for Mike’s Wishlist 2. Having one for a week has started to make me consider the option of self-funding but the price is unfortunately too high for me currently.

  • #9559

    Tim
    Keymaster

    Right chaps – I’m going to close down this thread in a day or so; so if you want to take the chance to ask questions to the President of Medtronic Diabetes then post ’em here sharpish!

  • #9560

    Alison
    Keymaster

    You’ve just launched MySentry in the US to help parents remotely monitor their children’s CGM data – do you have any plans to launch it in the UK any time soon?

  • #9561

    Alison
    Keymaster

    Dexcom seem to be taking a partnering strategy – integrating their CGM with several pump vendors eg Animas and now Cellnovo. Is that an approach Medtronic would consider?

  • #9562

    Alison
    Keymaster

    Product development: do you have any plans to get into the tubeless pump market? And any plans to update the remote for your pumps so that it also displays CGM data?

  • #9563

    Alison
    Keymaster

    If ShootUp readers have suggestions for how Medtronic products could be improved, is there someone they can submit them?

  • #9564

    lizz
    Participant

    Definitely need louder alarms! I’m using the pump at the minute and just don’t hear them, particularly at night.

    I find the writing VERY hard to read. I’d really like larger writing, perhaps changing screens so you have to scroll onto another window to read the rest?

    I can’t recall if i said this in my former post, but I have needed up almost crying with frustration at not being able to find info quickly and easily, like when I did my last bolus, how much it was etc, when I did this that or the other – info which should be easily legible and easily got at seems to be hidden. There seems to be no total history – so I could not scroll back and see everything I have done for instance over the last day.

  • #9565

    Tim
    Keymaster

    Just to let you know that some of the more technical questions here will probably be split off into a different interview which I may be able to secure with a Medtronic technical spod. It’s probably best to ask Katie more general questions about policy and plans, etc.

    To steal someone else’s analogy, it’s a bit like getting a chance to interview Richard Branson and using it to complain about the coffee on his trains…

  • #9566

    Anonymous

    @tim is right, there are so many things to complain to Richard Branson about, trains is way down the list!

    That was the point you were making, right ;-)

  • #9567

    Tim
    Keymaster

    @furrypaul – Yep exactly! I would mainly complain about his beard.

  • #9599

    Anonymous

    Quite. Looks completely stuck on. And I would never have known he was black except for those ads on the telly at the moment. Haaaaang on…

  • #9612

    lizz
    Participant

    Well, one more coffee question – but tbh, I don’t agree. This is the only product from Minimed we’re using, Katie is the one contact who might know some answers. My Minimed contact nurse knows nothing. go to the top with any complaint is my motto and it has served me well.

    I had a hypo while on the Minimend and CGM on Monday, around 5 pm. My BS was normal with no arrows at 4.40. At 5 someone phoned and I was confused during the call – I could see Lola alerting. And the pump suspended when I put the phone down. I cancelled it and that’s the last I remember – paramedics brought me round an hour and a half later. i was wondering if there could be some sort of provision of other people alerting – ie if the pump suspends, then a signal is sent to something in the house which sends a phone call to another person? I have friends in my village who have volunteered to be aiders as it were – if the pump could only send a message I would have had help and hour and a half quicker…

  • #9613

    Tim
    Keymaster

    @lizz – like one of those medical alert button things that you see advertised in the back of Balance?

    Anyway, hope you’re okay now – doesn’t sound like fun.

  • #9614

    lizz
    Participant

    No – I would never use one, unless compos mentis enough to decide I needed it. The pump turns the basal off and does a ‘suspend basal’ tone. If there was a device that recognised that tone, and which could then dial a certain phone number, with a pre-recorded and recognisable message, it would tell someone to phone me for instance to check I’m ok, if I didn’t answer, or sounded confused, that other person could get help immediately.

    It would be better if the pump itself sent an infrared or radio whatever message, an imperative order which could be picked up by a device to phone out. Our house alarm can do it.

  • #9615

    Annette A
    Participant

    Okay, so I may be totally making this up, but wasnt there a discussion (and I dont even know where) about a meter that would send an alert to a given phone number if you took a reading lower than a certain level (like it would send a text message or something) so that the owner of said phone could phone the meter user and check they were alright. (It may have been just a conversation with my husband about this.)
    This would be the same kind of thing – if the pump did the suspend thing, it would also at the same time send an alert/text/whatever to a given number who could then take whatever action needed (ring/visit/whatever).
    I’m sure there’s a meter or maybe an idea for a meter that allows parents to check on bg readings of kids…(wanders off to try and find evidence of what she’s talking about…)

  • #9616

    Annette A
    Participant

    Here we are:
    http://www.mobiledia.com/news/123558.html
    http://www.diabetesnet.com/node/303
    Of course, that doesnt help Lizz right now, but if they can do it for meters, why cant they do it for CGM/pumps? (I know these you have to test first, and then it sends the results off, and if you were low and unable to react to what you knew was happening (eg Lizz said she saw that Lola was alerting her, and she turned off the pump suspend) then you wouldnt really be testing, but the pump turned itself off to start with – that could be the alternative trigger instaed of the test itself).

  • #9617

    lizz
    Participant

    Yes, I agree, Annette. I think the suspend tones themselves could send a message to a prearranged or programmable number (it could even change!). then that person could check by phoning up to see if there is an answer. Sometimes my pump suspends but I am ok enough to eat something and turn it back on. But obviously on Monday I would not have been able to answer the phone. OH did drive home when I didn’t answer the phone, but he didn’t know whether I was in trouble or not, I could have taken the dog for a late walk or something. Unlikely – but possible.

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