Contour Link

The Contour Link from Bayer and Medtronic is a blood glucose meter which wirelessly transmits blood test results to your Medtronic insulin pump.

The idea is to make insulin dosing easier.

The Contour Link has been superceded by the Contour NEXT Link which offers improved accuracy and a greater depth of useful features.

Smarter way to manage your diabetes

Bayer claim that the Contour Link is a simply smarter way to manage your diabetes.

Initially it might seem that you have to be pretty smart just to use it, but if you’re on an insulin pump you’ll still need to blood test.

If you’ve not yet experimented with your bolus wizard, maybe it’s time to go back to the manual and give it a go!.

It features wireless technology, requires only a small blood sample and can accommodate alternative site testing too.

Pre and post meal markers

It has pre-meal and post-meal markers which give you the ability to identify trends in your readings and it has a system of alarms that you can set to remind yourself to test at a certain time, such as 2 hours after a meal.

The Contour Link blood test machine is compatible with the Medtronic MiniMed Paradigm 512/712, 515/715, 522/722 insulin pumps.

If you are using one of these pumps and would like to find out more about a meter that can ‘talk’ to your pump, contact Medtronic Diabetes.

Transcript

One of the blood test machines I wanted to show you is the Contour Link. Now, I’m on a Medtronic Pump and as it happens, this (Contour Link) talks to the pump. You don’t have to write it in a diary. It squeezes across through the joys of infrared (the readings).

The strip into the Contour Link, finger-prick, counts down from 5 seconds. Then it pings to the Medtronic pump. It might not be easy to see, but the Contour Link tells the Medtronic Pump what’s going on. The joy of that is that you can press Bolus, using Bolus Wizard and it repeats what that reading was – 7.4 mmol/L. You can then say you’re not taking any carbs and it tells you not to take any insulin.

The other benefit of this setup, not everyone is on a pump or has access to a pump; but should you have access to a pump the Contour Link talks to the pump and you can download all the information from the pump which is part of the Medtronic setup. That brings both your blood test readings and insulin delivery as given by the pump all onto the same graphs. It’s quite interesting, and quite frightening when you first see as there’s just so much information. If you’re anything like me it looks like a war-zone – like results left, right, centre – but it’s actually normal. People don’t know to expect that, but it is.

The point of all that information is to assess trends and get your basal rate right on the pump. Also, things like the Bolus Wizard works if you know how many units your blood sugar will come down if you put it in a unit of insulin. So, it’s your carb to insulin ratio or just your blood sugar level to insulin ratio. At certain times of the day, one unit of insulin will bring me down say 4 units. So if that blood test had been 16.4 mmol/L, it might suggest that I have 1 or 2 or 1.5 units of insulin and that should bring me back to the zone.

It’s all very clever and very useful. The more it’s singing and dancing with each other, the better. It’s all going to head that way, I think, with the artificial pancreas, etc. You’ll still have to keep your head on and manage it yourself and the more you know about carbohydrates the better; and how they work in your body.

Getting it all automated and not having to fiddle about with anything is very helpful.

Test strips

The Contour Link takes Bayer Contour test strips.

Technical specifications

  • Blood sample size: 0.6 microlitres
  • Time to result: 5 seconds
  • Measurement range: 0.6-33.3 mmol/L
  • Memory: 480 test results
  • Averages: 14 days
  • Batteries: Two 3V CR2030 lithium batteries
  • Battery life with ‘Send’ option off: Approximately 1,000 tests or 1 year of average use
  • Battery life with ‘Send’ option on: Approximately 244 tests or 2 months of average use
  • Dimensions: 77 x 57 x 23 mm
  • Weight: 53g
  • Operating temperature range: 5°–45°C
  • Humidity: 10-93% relative humidity
  • Altitude: Up to 3,353m

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