Thursday, March 13, 2008

FreeStyle Navigator FINALLY Approved

Well, the time has finally come! The Abbott Diabetes Care FreeStyle Navigator Continuous Glucose Monitoring System is finally approved by the FDA and available!

I started this blog when I was admitted to a three month study of the Navigator and I wrote extensively about my experiences over the trail. It begins with my first day and continues through some trials and tribulations over the following three months.

I included lots of pictures of the unit, of the insertion process and it seems that it is virtually the same unit I used in trail, but they updated a few irritating things, like there was no way to escape out of the reports window without waiting for it to time out.

During the trail my blood sugars were more manageable, but it was only in my final week of the trial that I truly realized how profoundly this technology could improve my control. My doctor could see things that would never be seen with 8 tests per day. I had a drop in my A1C of 10 percent during the trail and that prompted me to buy the Minimed CGM when it came out with the Minilink.

I think there are comparable in technology, BUT the Navigator would give me alarms 30 minutes before I was low and that saved me more than once. Also, you have readings every minute, which can be very helpful as you are dropping.

The insertion of the sensor is MUCH better with the Navigator and you don't see this HUGE needle plunging into your belly like you do with the Minimed.

The Co-pilot software was awesome; way better than the Minimed version. I loved the visuals along with the numbers.

I could not find the pricing information on the web, so I called the hot line and held for 5 minutes. They took my personal information first, then told me the pricing would be as follows:

The receiver and transmitter kit, which also includes one box of Freestyle strips, batteries and lancets will range in price from $960 -$1040. The Sensor kit includes six sensors for approximately $360-390. That is $60 a piece folks. Not sure how much I appreciate that without insurance coverage.

If anything, I think this will give Minimed and Dexcom a run for their money, which I hope in turn, brings about sexier and more sophisticated devices from which to choose. I like my Minimed because it is contained all in one unit, but if I were to buy today, I would absolutely consider the Navigator.


Anonymous said...

How does the Navigator compare to the Minimed as far as accuracy and reliability? I currently have a Guardian an lately have been very frustrated with it. I get a lot of sensors where there is an accurate range of about 20 mg/dl. Do you have any problems like this with the Minimed and is the Navigator any better in this respect?

Wendy Morgan said...

The navigator offered exceptional accuracy in my book, but there were those times when it was just OFF. They same can be said for the Minimed, but I think my inaccurate moments are more frequest with the Minimed.

Anonymous said...

Is it worth the bulkier receiver and transmitter?

Wendy Morgan said...

The receiver is good sized but not huge. SInce I wear a Mminimed CGM with my pump, I don't know how it compares to the Dex or the Guardian units.

The sensor/transmitter is not thinker, but a little longer than the Minimed Minilink and yes, I liked it, but not better. I liked it fine for a couple of reasons.

The insertion is much less traumatic. Have you seen the needle on the Minimed? Terrifying! But not more or less painful, you just don't see the insertion of the Navigator.

You do have this HUGE disposable insertion device that gets used once and chunked in the trash, BUT the sensor is only 5 millimeters under the skin.

It did hurt occasionally and did bleed occassionally as the Minimed does, but the sensor overall was fine in terms of size. I appreciated not having to change the battery on the Navigator transmitter.
It is not worth me carrying two different units; pump and CGM receiver, which is why I like the Minimed for now.

Anonymous said...

Wendy, were you able to "trick" the Navigator into giving extra life out of a single sensor? I'm willing to pay more for the better accuracy...but I'm seeing pretty consistent posts of people getting 15-20+ days on a single Dexcom sensor.


Wendy Morgan said...

I didn't try it, but read on a recent CGM yahoo group that someone also in a trial for a longer period tricked the sensor for at least 10 days.

I was only in a three month trial and didn't want to screw things up for the study by being sneaky.

The CGM yahoo group can be found at

Anonymous said...

Subject: Invitation to check out the Online Community we are Creating for Diabetes on Trusera.

Dear Wendy,

Great post alerting the Diabetes Community of FreeStyle Navigator’s availability and another great one for cautioning busy moms to carry Glucose tablets – glad to hear you are okay. First off, thank you for your insight on self-care and for supporting your readers and the Diabetes Community through sharing your experiences and recommending resources. Your posts are exactly the kind of material that would help support our online Diabetes Community at Trusera (

Secondly, I’d love the opportunity to speak with you about Trusera (, a free invitation-only network that connects individuals to first hand health experiences of others. We are a new venture created as a resource for health communities and a safe environment where people can share and pass on health information they have learned or are learning from experience, for others to benefit from. We believe that there is great value in learning from others who have walked a mile in your shoes, and our goal is to build a strong base of people and experiences with whom others can connect for information, support and insight. We are working to create a place where people with Diabetes can network, discuss resources, and to create a toolkit of stories based on experiences that empower people to take control of their health. We believe this resource will be invaluable for those who have been recently diagnosed, friend and family, and to raise awareness to those on different health communities on our site.

The Diabetes Community’s real need and demonstrated track record for sharing knowledge and support has made it one of Trusera’s first areas of focus. I’ve been reading your blog and wanted to reach out to you because you share our belief in the power of sharing and creating access to actionable information. I am reaching out to a select group of people within the Diabetes Community – leaders and advocates- as part of an effort to build valuable, credible content on Trusera and connect existing networks of people in new, powerful ways online. I would love it if you would share your experiences with our community and would like to discuss the different ways in which you could play a meaningful role in sparking this new resource for the Diabetes Community. We are running several programs that I’d love to talk to you about. Please let me know if I can send you an invitation via email to our site.

Warm Regards,

Tara Holahan - check us out!
We’d love to hear your thoughts

Anonymous said...

What about sensor adhesive, did you have many issues with it? I ask specifically about sweating during exercise making the adhesive fail, have they changed it since your demo? I am sold other than this question, been using a Dex for over a year with success, not a good experience w/ MM. Thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

I think the FreeStyle Navigator is very very expensive.
it`s o.k for a short period beginning therapy
simple use of blood test monitoring 5-7 times a day is o.k,
or what do you think

Unknown said...

i'm thinking to but the navigator, but it much more expensive in europe then minimed,
can anybody tel me the cost is u.s.a ?