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ADA Announces New Research Grant for Diabetes Technology

By Dr. Francine Kaufman

Chief Medical Officer

Posted:  5/24/2011 12:00 AM


Today, the American Diabetes Association and Medtronic together announced that we’re offering new research grants for diabetes technology. Essentially, we’re accepting applications from medical researchers to study the data from our CareLink® database to learn more about the impact of diabetes management tools on clinical outcomes, compliance and use of diabetes devices – as well as various factors that affect glycemic control in patients with diabetes.

Of course, those of you who use CareLink can rest assured that the data provided will be completely anonymous and HIPAA compliant.

This is a very exciting announcement for me. Those of you who attended the Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum in April may remember me talking about the wealth of data that CareLink holds and how much valuable information I think researchers would be able to pull out of it.

Medtronic made the CareLink Therapy Management Software for Diabetes available in 2004. After nearly seven years, we have information from more than 200,000 individuals, many with multiple years of data. I don’t know of anywhere else where the science community would be able to find this quantity of data. And I’m happy to be able to share it to give scientists the opportunity to better understand how patients manage their diabetes on a daily basis.

My hope is that the findings of this research will help healthcare providers like me better educate our patients. At the same time, I want industry to be able to learn from it so that when that next-generation product is underway, the engineers have insight that allows them to develop features that meet the needs of people with diabetes and further improves their lives.

If you (or someone you know) are a clinical or post doctoral fellow or scientist-in-training, I encourage you to apply at


George Bergstrom

Posted on Tue May 24 21:47:28 GMT 2011

Dr. Kaufman,

While I agree that there is a wealth of information in this data, I am a bit concerned as a patient... not in privacy, but that the sensor is (for at least me) routinely not within the 2% error rate that I heard a Medtronic rep once quote to me. This may not be a problem if I could comment or otherwise annotate my data for the researcher to explain why I applied a bolus if the sensor thought I was low (which has happened on numerous occasions when I have been high not low.)

It is great technology for trends about 85% - 90% of the time so keep up the good work, but it would be nice for the patient to be able to add even more detail and data to the cloud, assuming we all remained anonymous from the research standpoint.

One last thing, not related... but if you allowed browsers/operating systems to interface with Care Link (for example iPhone/iPad app...) that might also increase the volume of data. Currently I have to wait till I can get to my aging PC desktop to upload my data, and therefore have lost some a few times from forgetting to do it. How much data (in days or months) can the pump store before it has to begin to overwrite?


Dr. Francine Kaufman

Posted on Fri May 27 17:30:00 GMT 2011

Dear George,

Allowing patients more ways to input their own notes is an idea that we have heard and are exploring. The Revel pump stores about 90 days of data and, yes, we've definitely thought about ways for customers to access CareLink (as well as real-time data) on mobile devices. We also recently launched CareLink Personal 5.4 in the US, which is compatible with MAC OS 10.5 and 10.6, and Safari web browser Ver 4 and Ver 5.) And we actually have an entire team here who are dedicated to working on developing and bringing to market what we call "connectivity solutions." Of course, just to be clear, once we have the engineering in place, even the ability to download to CareLink via a smart phone would require FDA approval.

On accuracy, I was surprised to hear that 2 percent number. When we talk about sensor accuracy, we usually talk about our STAR 1 research (a 6-month in-home study with 47,000+ people with T1 diabetes). In that study we found our Sof-Sensor had a mean absolute relative difference of 15.2%. I also suggest to my patients - as you recognize - that the real value in CGM is being able to see the trend of which way a glucose value is going, and with newer systems like the Paradigm Revel even predict whether you will go high or low based on this data. In addition, CGM allows healthcare providers such as myself, and patients, to see the daily patterns that diet, exercise and daily activity can create so that we can make adjustments and fine tune day-to-day management. Of course no system is perfect. You still have to do fingersticks and keep an eye on your insertion site.

(More - see next comment)

Dr. Francine Kaufman

Posted on Fri May 27 17:32:00 GMT 2011

On privacy, I do absolutely guarantee that there is no identification possible at all of any patient. Please understand that the analyses we will be doing are not going to be that detailed or granular that we would need to know any response to a sensor value. It will be at a much higher level and when you add in 100,000 data sets, it is not about any individual but only about trends and means. Thanks so much for commenting, and know that we sponsor and do research like this with clinicians and researchers - and their patients - to get to the kind of issues you're talking about.


Dr. Kaufman

Dr. Robin Omedo

Posted on Wed Feb 19 08:27:10 GMT 2014

I have developed a research proposal; i want look at the effects of hypoglyceamic plants extracts on the expression of key genes of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, i intend to use the animal model. i request for financial assistance to do this work.
Thank you.


Posted on Thu Feb 20 17:38:34 GMT 2014

Thank you for reaching out, Dr. Omedo. If you’d like to email your research proposal to I can make sure it gets forwarded to the appropriate team.

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