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Diabetes Devices Up Close: Medtronic Guardian 4

Medtronic Guardian

*Disclaimer: All content and information in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. This article was medically reviewed by Amanda Ciprich, MS, RD. Last updated on 3/19/2024.

The Guardian 4 marks Medtronic Diabetes' latest release in continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMs). With its enhanced reliability and convenience, the Guardian 4 offers individuals with diabetes a comprehensive understanding of their glucose levels. The newest advancements in Medtronic's Guardian 4 is a step forward in personalized diabetes care. Continue reading to learn more about the latest features and benefits. 

What is the Medtronic Guardian 4?

The Medtronic Guardian 4 is a CGM system that includes:

  • Sensor: Detects interstitial glucose readings.
  • Transmitter: Wirelessly transmits glucose readings obtained from the sensor to display device via Bluetooth. 
  • Display Device: Typically the Medtronic 780G or compatible app will display glucose readings in real-time showing current glucose levels and trends over time. 

How does the Medtronic Guardian 4 work?

The Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM tracks glucose levels every few minutes through a small sensor inserted under the skin. The sensor measures interstitial glucose levels, the fluid surrounding the body's cells. Data collected from the interstitial fluid is transmitted wirelessly via Bluetooth to a compatible display device. The Guardian 4 CGM provides real-time updates on current glucose levels and trends over time. Users have the convenience of checking their glucose levels at any time and can set up alerts for both high and low glucose readings for more proactive diabetes management. 

How do I insert my Medtronic Guardian 4?

Inserting the Medtronic Guardian 4 involves several steps. Here is a general guide on how to insert the Guardian 4 CGM:

  • Preparation: Before inserting the sensor, be sure to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. Gather all the necessary supplies such as Guardian 4 sensor, inserter, alcohol wipes and adhesive patches. 
  • Site Selection: Choose an insertion site for the applicable age group and site with a sufficient amount of fat, avoiding areas with muscle, tough skin or scar tissue. 
  • Clean the Site: Clean the insertion site with an alcohol wipe and let dry. 
  • Prepare the Sensor and Inserter: Remove the sensor from packaging and place the pedestal on a clean, flat surface. Attach the sensor into the inserter according to the manufacturer's directions.
  • Insert the Sensor: Place the inserter on top of the prepped site then press and release both inserter buttons at the same time. Hold for five seconds to ensure the adhesive sticks to the skin then lift the inserter away from the skin.
  • Secure the Sensor: After insertion, use adhesive products, such as Skin Grip Medtronic Guardian Adhesive, to ensure the sensor stays in place and gently press down for proper adhesion.
  • Active the Sensor: Follow the specific instructions provided with your Guardian 4 system to connect and active the sensor to transmitter. 

Where to insert Medtronic Guardian 4 sensor

The Medtronic Guardian 4 sensor is indicated for arm use only. According the manufacturer, the use of Guardian 4 sensors in other sites, including abdomen or buttocks could result in hypo- or hyperglycemia due to performance differences. 


What are the key features of the Medtronic Guardian 4?

The most notable key features of the Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM include:

  • Routine calibration not required: Unlike Medtronic CGM generations, the Guardian 4 does not require routine calibration. However, users still may need to conduct a fingerstick if the pump requests a calibration of the sensor or if the users symptoms do not match the readings. 
  • Compatibility: Medtronic MiniMed 780G with SmartGuard and Meal Detection Technology.
  • Smartphone display: Users can use the MiniMed mobile app to receive alarms, alerts, reminders and messages from your pump to your compatible smartphone device. 


How much does the Medtronic Guardian 4 cost?

The cost of Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM will vary from person to person depending on individual insurance coverage. Medtronic offers a CGM access problem for individuals with no insurance coverage for Medtronic CGM. The discount applies for Guardian 4 sensors and transmitters which are $180 per transmitter and $60 per 30-day supply of sensors. 


How can I get a Medtronic Guardian 4?

To get started with Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM, you need to get a prescription from your healthcare provider. Once you have a prescription and insurance coverage is verified, you can order the Medtronic Guardian 4 sensor directly through Medtronic or your insurance's preferred pharmacy. This process ma vary depending on your location, healthcare provider and insurance requirements. It is essential to communicate with your healthcare team and Medtronic representative to ensure a smooth process in obtaining your Guardian 4 supplies. 




About the Author:

About Amanda Ciprich, MS, RD

Amanda Ciprich, a registered dietitian with a specialization in type 1 diabetes, was diagnosed with T1D herself at the age of 18. With her expertise and personal experience, she has authored two books, including "The Caregiver's Guide to Diabetes: Practical Advice for Caring for Your Loved One." As the founder of T1D Nutritionist, a virtual insurance-based private practice, Amanda provides counseling and guidance to individuals with T1D and their families, supporting them in effectively managing diabetes.